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The Vancouver Canucks have won the Andrei Kuzmenko sweepstakes.
Considered the most highly-coveted free agent outside of the NHL, Kuzmenko confirmed on his Instagram today that he had inked a deal with the Canucks.
The Instagram post showed the 26-year-old signing a contract in a Canucks jersey, wearing #96, with the caption: “Let’s go Canucks.”
Vasiliy Podkolzin, the Canucks 10th overall pick in 2019 who broke out as a bonafide NHL player this past season, replied to the post and said “good choice” with a smiling emoji.
Kuzmenko’s agent Dan Milstein confirmed the signing as well, writing on Twitter that contract details will be worked out soon.
NHL rules indicate that Kuzmenko is only eligible to sign a one-year entry-level deal.
Confirming Andrey Kuzmenko’s intent to sign with Vancouver Canucks. Contract details to be worked out soon. #WeAreGoldStar!— Dan Milstein-Hockey (@HockeyAgent1) June 20, 2022
Milstein told Canucks insider Rick Dhaliwal that Kuzmnko “felt right about Vancouver” and that he is excited about joining the team.
“He had a good connection with Canucks management, especially the GM,” Dhaliwal noted.
Agent Dan Milsten - Andrei felt right about Vancouver, he had a good connection with Canucks management especially the GM. He is excited about joining Vancouver, the contract will get done over the next few days..— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) June 20, 2022
The 5’11”, 194-pound winger was never drafted into the NHL, but he has progressively improved and become a star in the KHL in recent years.
Last season, Kuzmenko was second in league scoring with 20 goals and 33 assists for 53 points.
He added seven goals and seven assists for 14 points in 15 playoff games with St. Petersburg SKA.
Once Kuzmenko's intention of leaving the KHL for the NHL was confirmed, there were no shortage of teams gunning for his services.
In recent days and weeks, he met with several NHL teams trying to woo him, which included the Edmonton Oilers, Vegas Golden Knights, Carolina Hurricanes and Boston Bruins.