Report: Nikolay Kulemin leaving NHL to play in KHL

New York Islanders forward Nikolay Kulemin scored his 6th goal of the season after his patience pays off allowing him to put one past Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask.

Former Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Islanders forward Nikolay Kulemin will leave the NHL and head to the KHL’s Metallurg Magnitogorsk, according to a report from The Athletic’s Arthur Staple.

Kulemin, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 following the conclusion of a four-year deal with the Islanders, suited up for just 13 games in 2017-18. The 31-year-old last played in early November, before being forced out of the lineup with a shoulder injury that required surgery.

He was close to making it back into the lineup when the Islanders season ended without a playoff berth, however, telling NewsDay’s Andrew Gross in April that he could’ve returned had his club advanced to the post-season.

Kulemin suited up for nine full NHL campaigns before the brief 2017-18 foray, amassing 195 points in 421 games for the Maple Leafs and another 79 in 248 games with the Islanders.

The Magnitogorsk native suited up for his hometown club during the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, posting 38 points in 36 games for the KHL squad. He also spent three years with Metallurg prior to entering the NHL in 2008.


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