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Canucks sign Russian free-agent Andrei Kuzmenko

The 26-year-old will join the Canucks on a one-year, entry-level deal.

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Andrey Kuzmenko (No.96) of SKA Saint Petersburg in action...
Andrey Kuzmenko (No.96) of SKA Saint Petersburg in action during the 202122 KHL Regular season of the Kontinental Hockey League between SKA Saint Petersburg and Barys Nur-Sultan at the Ice Sports Palace. Final score; SKA Saint Petersburg 3:4 Barys Nur-Sultan.
Photo by Maksim Konstantinov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Although the NHL season hasn’t officially concluded, Patrik Allvin and Jim Rutherford just scored their first big win of the offseason.

According to multiple reports, the Canucks have won the Andrey Kuzmenko sweepstakes.

The most official report of them all? Kuzmenko’s Instagram page, of course.

Kuzmenko met with the Canucks in-person at least twice during the process, with the final meeting occurring in Vancouver on Friday.

He also met with Bruce Boudreau and Allvin the previous Friday in Michigan.

The 26-year-old winger has been a consistent producer with SKA St. Petersberg in the KHL for the better part of five seasons, although the 2021-22 campaign was his best to date.

He posted 20 goals and 53 points in 45 regular-season games, while adding another seven goals and 14 points in 16 postseason games.

Kuzmenko and agent Dan Milstein both had a long-standing relationship with the current Canucks GM. Milstein recently said that Allvin had watched and checked in on Kuzmenko on a regular basis over the last nine years.

Here’s what The Athletic’s Corey Pronman had to say about Kuzmenko earlier this season.

“He has the flashy skill but also plays hard, and despite his 5-foot-11 frame doesn’t shy from creating around the net and attacking the high percentage areas. On top of his frame, Kuzmenko lacks the speed you’d like to see especially in a smaller forward, but the rest of his game is so good that I think he can be a middle six winger in the NHL.”