Golden Knights prospect Nikita Gusev signs two-year deal in KHL

Russia's Nikita Gusev reacts after scoring his team's second goal against Canada during the 2017 Ice Hockey World Championships semifinal. (Martin Meissner/AP)

The Vegas Golden Knights‘ attempt at reuniting KHL teammates Nikita Gusev and Vadim Shipachyov in the desert is not to be, it seems, as Gusev has signed a two-year deal to return to the KHL, the league announced on Friday.

Vegas acquired Gusev’s negotiating rights from the Tampa Bay Lightning during the expansion draft, along with two draft picks, in exchange for selecting defenceman Jason Garrison from the Lightning roster.

With the Golden Knights already boasting KHL standout Shipachyov on the roster – they signed the 30-year-old to a two-year deal back in May – it’s likely the club hoped to bring in Gusev to rekindle the pair’s potent chemistry.

The two played on the same line for the past two seasons in Saint Petersburg. They also ranked among their team’s most dangerous offensive weapons, finishing among SKA Saint Petersburg’s top three scorers in 2016-17.