Nikita Gusev

by masonblack on February 25, 2018

Nikita Gusev, LW

Shoots: R

Height: 5-11

Weight: 181

Born: 1992-07-08

Hometown: Moscow, Russia

Drafted: 7th round 2012 (202nd overall)







February 2018 – Nikita Gusev took home some serious hardware as he helped the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) to a gold medal victory, scoring two goals in the decisive final game. Gusev finished atop the Olympic leaderboard scoring four goals, eight assists and 12 points in only six games. Not only is he heading back to Russia with a gold medal, he was also named the top forward by the IIHF directorate as his skill was in full display while on the world’s biggest stage. Mason Black


January 2018 – Nikita Gusev continues to dominate the KHL and sits second, only one point behind Ilya Kovalchuk, in league and team scoring on the powerhouse SKA St. Petersburg. One has to wonder if he’ll ever decide to cross the pond and come to North America, especially after the way the Golden Knights handled current teammate Vadim Shipachyov’s situation this past fall. There is no question that Gusev has all of the tools to be a dominant force in today’s NHL, and he is arguably the top player currently playing outside of the NHL. However, time is running out on whether or not he’ll make the decision to play in the NHL and he still has one year remaining, after this season, on his current contract with SKA. Mason Black

June 2017 - The Vegas Golden Knights acquired Gusev in a trade from the Tampa Bay Lightning.It still remains doubtful he will come to North America in the near future, or at all, but if he does he could be a major asset for the franchise. Peter Harling

May 2017 – On May 13th Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times reported that Nikita Gusev “has no immediate plans to return to North America.” The Lightning’s seventh-round-pick in 2012 has been a dangerous offensive weapon for St. Petersburg of the KHL, he’s also a good friend of countryman, Nikita Kucherov. If Gusev re-up’s on his contract in the KHL, we likely won’t see him in a Lightning jersey for some time, if ever. It’s a significant blow to the Lightning’s prospect depth on the wing, however will open doors for other intriguing and eager prospects to come. Brayden Olafson

March 2017 – Gusev completed another enormously successful season with SKA where he exceeded his scoring pace from 2015-16 by a healthy portion. His passing ability and social chemistry with Lightning star, Nikita Kucherov should almost certainly lock him in as a full time Lightning upon expiration of his KHL contract. Pending any hiccups in the transition, expect immediate fantasy impact from him upon his expected 2018 arrival in North America. Surrounded by other highly talented players in St. Petersburg, he is an elite puck handler with a pass-first mentality. Brayden Olafson


May 2016 – After having another successful season in the KHL, Nikita Gusev has the option of joining noted friend Nikita Kucherov in the NHL with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Gusev showcased his playmaking abilities and his smarts throughout SKA St. Petersburgh’s season. He was a threat in the playoffs before elimination, but managed to rack up 14 points in 15 games. If Gusev does make the move to North America, he could make the Lightning even better on the powerplay with his perimeter passing and quarterback-like skills; however, it does not seem likely that Gusev will be leaving the KHL soon. 

Febuary 2015 – Gusev is an offensive-minded forward that prefers to play the perimeter of the ice to take advantage of his high skill set and playmaking ability with impressive vision. He displays great speed (yet lacks that top-end gear) and shows exceptional hands. With those gifts, he reminds scouts of former Finnish phenom and current NHL center Mikael Granlund. Like Granlund, his size could make a transition difficult. Gusev simply cannot work inside and use his body, which could pose problems in the North American game. Further, he lacks tenacity in his defensive zone, which may limit his minutes. Still, the offensive skill is there. In January, his KHL Skills Competition goal went viral almost immediately and was better than anything witnessed in the NHL All-Star competition. He also has shown progression in KHL. Only eight goals and six assists last year, but he turned it into 18 goals and 12 assists this year. He is ready for further development in the AHL, yet some say he may not be interested in leaving Russia. It’s exciting to think what Gusev could do in the NHL, especially if paired with his former Russia junior’s linemate Nikita Kucherov.



Fantasy Outlook: A-

His hockey IQ far exceeds his age and will almost certainly lead to success at the NHL level.



Gusev’s KHL Skills Competition goal:


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