The New Jersey Devils continue their busy offseason by swooping in and acquiring winger Nikita Gusev and signing him to an extension.
The Goose is loose in Jersey. On Monday, the New Jersey Devils acquired Nikita Gusev from the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for a third-round pick in 2020 and a second-rounder in 2021. He will wear No. 97 for the Devils.
THE GOOSE IS LOOSE pic.twitter.com/Cnqwz2tdmQ
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) July 29, 2019
The left-winger, who was a restricted free agent has also signed a two-year extension with the Devils. Gusev will make $4.5 million AAV on the deal.
Gusev, 27, has yet to play a game in the NHL, spending his entire career in Russia’s KHL. The forward posted 65 assists in just 62 games with SKA St. Petersburg last season. Not to mention, he added in 17 goals to boot.
It’s safe to say that averaging more than one assist per game can be filed away under “pretty damn good.”
New Jersey is looking to bounce back after a disappointing 2018-19 season. They traded for P.K. Subban in June and took Jack Hughes first overall in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, among other moves.
Gusev is just the latest domino to fall. The Devils will have their hands full in the Metro this season. The New York Rangers have retooled in a similar way this summer. By adding Artemi Panarin and second-overall pick Kaapo Kakko, the Rangers have rebuilt in a hurry. Additionally, despite a quiet summer, the New York Islanders are coming off a strong season and their young core is poised to repeat that success next season.
And those are just the New York teams the Devils will have to deal with. The Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Carolina Hurricanes are all coming off strong showings in 2018-19.
Gusev adds a dynamic element to the Devils in advance of a season where they’ll have plenty of competition for a playoff spot.