Forward Andrei Kuzmenko has signed a two-year extension with the Vancouver Canucks worth $11 million, the club announced Thursday.
The deal, which kicks in next season, includes a 12-team no-trade clause, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
Kuzmenko, who was a pending unrestricted free agent before signing the extension, has 21 goals and 23 assists through 47 games in his first NHL season. His 43 points are tied for third in team scoring.
The 26-year-old winger joined the Canucks on a one-year, $950,000 contract this season after playing eight seasons in the KHL.
“Andrei is a player we worked extremely hard to recruit last summer,” Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said in a press release.
“He has been an excellent fit for our forward group this season, transitioning very well to the North American style of play. His passion and enthusiasm for the game has made a positive impact in the dressing room among his teammates and we are excited to watch him continue his career with the Vancouver Canucks.”
Kuzmenko’s extension comes four days after the Canucks replaced head coach Bruce Boudreau with Rick Tocchet.
Days before the change, Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford said the Canucks needed “major surgery,” noting that the inability to clear out cap space to help the team’s current core has been a problem.
Rutherford also said: “We’re not looking towards a rebuild, I’d rather call it a retool.”
The Canucks, currently 27th in the NHL standings with a 19-26-3 record, are expected to trade captain and pending unrestricted free agent Bo Horvat before the NHL’s March 3 trade deadline.
January 26, 2023