April 12, 2019 / 6:08 AM / 2 months ago

Golden Knights may get playoff boost from KHL MVP

Ice Hockey - 2018 IIHF World Championships - Group A - Russia v Slovakia - Royal Arena - Copenhagen, Denmark - May 14, 2018 - Nikita Gusev of Russia in action. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor

The Vegas Golden Knights could be getting some offensive punch for their playoff push, and it could come from a player who has never played in the NHL, multiple outlets reported Thursday.

Nikita Gusev, the reigning MVP of Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League, could be on his way to the United States after his current team, SKA St. Petersburg, was eliminated from the playoffs by SCKA Moscow.

Gusev, 26, had 82 points in 62 games this season to lead the KHL, according to NHL.com. The left wing scored 17 goals with 65 assists. Canada’s TSN reported that Gusev’s representatives were working on a release from his current contract, which officially expires at the end of April.

“I don’t know much about him,” Vegas head coach Gerard Gallant said, according to the league website. “(Golden Knights general manager) George (McPhee) mentioned it today. ... If he joins us, we’ll see what’s going to happen. Hopefully he does join us and gets some practice time in with us, but I have no idea where that’s going.”

Vegas trails its best-of-7 Western Conference playoff matchup with San Jose 1-0, with Game 2 set for Friday in the Bay Area. The Golden Knights are the defending Western Conference champions.

Gusev was a seventh-round draft pick by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2012, but his rights were traded to Vegas in the 2017 expansion draft.

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