Canucks interested in signing Russian free agent Andrei Kuzmenko: report

Feb 23 2022, 1:21 am

New Vancouver Canucks GM Patrik Allvin said he would look to sign European free agents, and now he’s linked to one.

The Canucks are interested in signing Andrei Kuzmenko, a 26-year-old Russian winger currently playing in the KHL, according to a pair of reports.

CHEK TV’s Rick Dhaliwal is reporting that the Canucks are among “many teams” that have reached out to Kuzmenko’s agent Dan Milstein. That report was confirmed today by TSN’s Darren Dreger.

“Allvin is looking closely at Russian forward Andrei Kuzmenko,” Dreger said on Insider Trading today, noting that Kuzmenko is the top pending unrestricted free agent out of Europe this year.

Kuzmenko has 53 points (20-33-53) in 45 KHL games this season, ranking second in the league in scoring.

A right-shot left-winger, the 5-foot-11, 194-pound forward was passed over by every NHL team during his draft years. Now, all 32 NHL teams are likely interested in his services.

Allvin will soon get a chance to flex his recruiting muscle, after stating the key importance of European and college free agents. Players will begin to become available in the coming weeks, after their seasons end.

“This organization, with fewer [draft] picks coming up, I think this is a great landing spot for a lot of European and college Canadian players. So you’re gonna get opportunities,” Allvin said last month. “We don’t want to use any excuses. We need to find ways to get better every day and I’m sure our scouting staff will be up for the task to find more players, better players.”

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