As per a few reports on Monday, KHL free agent Andrei Kuzmenko might be closer to making a decision on his NHL future. He’s a highly-touted UFA coming over to the NHL and a number of teams were interested in signing the sniper. Per Darren Dreger of TSN, the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks are among the finalists.
Busy week for free agent, Andrei Kuzmenko. Interviewing this week with Edmonton and Vancouver as well as 2 US based clubs. Kuzmenko is hoping to making his decision in the next 10 days.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 13, 2022
Dreger writes, “Busy week for free agent, Andrei Kuzmenko. Interviewing this week with Edmonton and Vancouver as well as 2 US-based clubs. Kuzmenko is hoping to make his decision in the next 10 days.” The 26-year-old can only sign a one-year, entry-level deal at a maximum of $925K. As such, he’s likely to go with a team that gives him the best chance of producing big numbers offensively. If he does well, he’ll put himself in line to get a much bigger contract for the 2023-24 season.
Kuzmenko ranked second in the KHL in points with 53 in 45 games this past season. He’s played four seasons of professional KH Lhockey with SKA Saint Petersburg and four seasons with CSKA Moscow. Needless to say, he’s older and ready to make an immediate impact.
Do the Oilers Have The Advantage?
When you look at how Evander Kane performed in a short stint with the Oilers, it would seem Edmonton has an obvious leg up in terms of their chances to sign the player. He must have seen the massive numbers Kane put up and what it’s done for his chances of getting a huge extension by an NHL club this summer. Any chance Kuzmenko could play with Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl is big.
But, there will be other teams that offer skilled talent to play with too. It then becomes about a potential fit, promises of certain playing time, or the city itself.
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