The Journey: Projecting Andrei Kuzmenko

Curtis Rines


Welcome back to The Journey, where we follow hockey prospects and their paths to the NHL, providing fantasy predictions and analysis along the way.

First off, my name is Curtis Rines. I run the Nashville Predators team page for DobberProspects, and I will be filling in for Ben while he is away on vacation! I am super excited to have the chance to run this column for the next three weeks, and I hope you all enjoy the content.

To start my tenure, I will be looking at recent free-agent signing Andrei Kuzmenko and how the newest Canucks player stacks up against some of the more notable KHL forwards that have made a move to the NHL.

Before we get into comparables, who is Andrei Kuzmenko?

The 26-year-old Russian winger comes over from SKA St. Petersburg in the KHL with 315 games of experience under his belt. Across those games, he scored 85 goals and 200 points.

This past year, Kuzmenko had his best year in Russia by far. With 53 points in 45 games played, he was second in the league in points behind only Vadim Shipachyov. His 1.18 points per game rate surpassed his previous best, 0.67, by a wide margin.

So as you can see, his production in 2021-22 was no joke. According to our prospect analytics king, Mason Black, Kuzmenko's NHLe jumped from 31.0 to 57.0.

Besides being able to post points, Kuzmenko's skill set is desirable in a variety of ways. His elusive skating makes him a threat in all facets of the offensive game. He can blow by opponents on the rush or kill them in the cycle with his ability to maneuver in tight spaces under pressure.