The Devils acquired Nikita Gusev on Monday, trading a 2020 third-round pick and a 2021 second-round pick to the Golden Knights, who held the 27-year old’s rights. The Devils then signed the left wing to a two-year, $9 million contract.
Gusev has never appeared in an NHL game, though he signed an entry-level deal with the Golden Knights in April and was with the team during the playoffs. He has spent his career in the KHL with SKA Saint Petersburg, where his numbers — 39 goals and 144 points over the past two seasons — are enough to make you think he can do something in the NHL. Gusev’s 12 assists and 16 points were each tied for second-most at this year’s IIHF World Championship.
For the Devils, it’s yet another move with the immediate future in mind, and after this off-season, that future looks pretty good. GM Ray Shero still has roughly $12 million to work with, per Cap Friendly, though signing Taylor Hall to an extension figures to be his next priority.
Assuming Gusev provides the expected production, the Devils boast some real firepower in their top-six for next season. Winning the off-season means little on paper, but it’s safe to say the Devils have done so.