NHL insider Kevin Weekes reported Saturday afternoon that NHL teams are showing significant interest in San Jose Sharks prospect and KHL star Alexander 'Sasha' Chmelevski. The Vancouver Canucks are reportedly one of those teams, according to Rick Dhaliwal.
As it if were any surprise, Chmelevski happens to be represented by agent Dan Milstein, who represents several Canucks players. Most notable among them are Andrei Kuzmenko, Nikita Zadorov, and Ilya Mikheyev. Kuzmenko seems to be on his way out of Vancouver, whereas Zadorov forced his way onto the Canucks earlier this season. It makes for an interesting dynamic in this situation.
Chmelevski, 24, was drafted 185th overall by the San Jose Sharks in the sixth round of the 2017 NHL Draft. The Huntington Beach, CA native had played in 24 NHL games across two years with the Sharks, recording no goals and 10 assists. Chmelevski has been with Salavat Yulaev Ufa in the KHL since the 2022-23 season.
Last season, the 24-year-old scored 26 goals, 22 assists, and 48 points in his first 67 career KHL games and has been even better this season. So far, Chmelevski is up to 21 goals, 22 assists, and 43 points in only 50 games played. He's currently on pace to smash his personal bests in the KHL, with a forecast of 29 goals, 30 assists, and 59 points in 69 games.
It goes without saying that the Canucks haven't had much luck with Kuzmenko, another KHL signing, after an auspicious start initially. Would Patrik Allvin and the Canucks be willing to roll the dice on another unproven Milstein client so quickly? It could make sense should Vancouver be able to sign Chmelevski to a low-risk contract, unlike the extension they forked over to Kuzmenko after less than one full season in the NHL.