NHL: Canucks sign KHL star Andrei Kuzmenko, Capitals sign two, and more

Patrik Allvin Canucks
Vancouver Canucks

Today’s NHL Roundup of news for June 21, 2022.

Top Russian free agent Andrei Kuzmenko is signing with the Vancouver Canucks, his agent confirmed Monday.

The 26-year-old forward announced the move on Instagram with a photo of himself in a Canucks sweater.

Agent Dan Milstein of Gold Star confirmed it on Twitter. “Contract details to be worked out soon,” he wrote.

Kuzmenko also met with the Edmonton Oilers, Vegas Golden Knights, Carolina Hurricanes and Nashville Predators, Sportsnet reported.

He set career highs with 20 goals and 33 assists in 45 games with SKA St. Petersburg this season in the Kontinental Hockey League. He added seven goals and seven assists in 16 playoff games.

Washington Capitals signing news

The Washington Capitals re-signed forwards Beck Malenstyn and Brett Leason to two-year contracts on Monday.

Malenstyn’s deal is worth $1.525 million. The first year will be a two-way contract — worth either $750,000 if he remains in the NHL or $110,000 if he stays in the American Hockey League. The second year will be a one-way deal worth $775,000.

Malenstyn, 24, scored one goal in 12 games this season with the Capitals, who selected him in the fifth round of the 2016 NHL Draft.

He added 16 points (10 goals, six assists) in 65 games with the Hershey Bears of the AHL.

Leason’s one-way contract will pay him $750,000 next season and $800,000 in 2023-24.

Leason, 23, posted three goals and three assists in 36 games as a rookie with the Capitals, who drafted him in the second round in 2019.

He added 13 points (six goals, seven assists) in 31 games with Hershey.

Blue Jackets sign Brendan Gaunce

The Columbus Blue Jackets signed center Brendan Gaunce to a two-year, two-way contract through the 2023-24 season, the team announced Saturday.

According to reports, Gaunce will make $750,000 in the NHL or $450,000 in the American Hockey League next season. He will receive $775,000 (NHL)/$450,000 (AHL) in 2023-24.

Gaunce, 28, scored five goals and two assists in 30 games for Columbus last season.

“Brendan is a competitive forward with good size who can play both the center and wing,” Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said in a news release. “He played well last season and brings versatility and depth to our forward group.”

He also has played for the Vancouver Canucks (2015-19) and Boston Bruins (2019-20) during parts of six NHL seasons. Overall, Gaunce has 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in 117 games.

–Field Level Media