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Nikita Gusev to join Golden Knights for playoffs, per report

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The reigning KHL MVP could join the team during the first round.

Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 16
Nikita Gusev #97 of Russia during the 2018 Winter Olympics
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

According to NHL.com Russia correspondent Igor Eronko, Nikita Gusev is heading to Las Vegas for the playoffs. Whether he gets to America for the second game of the series between the Vegas Golden Knights and San Jose Sharks is in the air. If the report is true, though, wow.

Gusev, 26, was traded to Vegas during the expansion draft from the Tampa Bay Lightning. He won the regular season MVP in the KHL last year and stands a good chance of doing it again this year, coming off an 82-point performance in 62 games, the most points in the KHL this season.

According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Gusev’s representation is currently working on his release from SKA in the KHL. His current contract runs through April 30, but now that SKA’s season is over, it’s possible Gusev finds a way to Vegas in time for the first round.

Gusev would provide an offensive spark that’s currently lacking in the bottom six and could compliment Alex Tuch and Cody Eakin on the third line. He’s a much more dangerous scoring threat than Tomas Nosek and could fit on one of the power play units as well. However, do keep in mind that Gusev has never played in an NHL game, so throwing him into the fire during the playoffs may be a bit farfetched.

That said, though, Gusev has been the Golden Knights’ best prospect since day one, and having him aboard would be an obvious win for Vegas.