#2: He was teammates with one of the NHL’s best goaltenders
Kuzmenko played three seasons with Vasily Podkolzin. The two will get reacquainted in the fall.
But he also was a teammate of one of the NHL’s best goaltenders. That was Igor Shesterkin who is the 2021-22 winner of the Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goaltender.
Kuzmenko was teammates with Shesterkin in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons. Together they helped SKA finish first in the Bobrov Division in both seasons but they lost in the conference finals to division rivals CSKA Moscow. (Kuzmenko’s last two seasons in the KHL also ended in conference final defeats to CSKA Moscow.)
Kuzmenko will be playing hockey with Shesterkin again but this time as opponents.
#3 He is just the 19th Russian to play for the Canucks
Numerous Russians have worn the Canucks jersey over the years. Kuzmenko will just be the 19th Russian to don the Canucks colours.
The team has an up and down history with Russians. Pavel Bure was the Canucks first superstar and his number 10 is up in the rafters. Alexander Mogilny played five seasons in Vancouver and his first was a 55-goal, 107-point campaign. But many Russian players did not pan out in Vancouver including Sergei Shirokov and Nikolay Goldobin.
It’s also kind of crazy that Podkolzin is already tied for sixth in games played by a Russian Canuck.
Where will Kuzmenko land on the above list? We shall see.