With the Toronto Maple Leafs tight up against the cap, and having lost Zach Hyman to free agency, the Leafs were going to need to get creative to bring in offense to replace him.
While Gusev is an admittedly low bar, he still provides some intrigue, especially at the low risk bet of a PTO contract.
Professional TryoutNikita Gusev (RW, LW) | TOR#LeafsForeverhttps://t.co/cqiON02mJ1
— CapFriendly Transactions (@CF_Transactions) September 17, 2021
Gusev is coming off a bit of a down year, as he scored just four goals and six assists in 33 games for the New Jersey Devils and Florida Panthers, but his first NHL season saw him get 13 goals and 44 points in 66 games. So, it’s easy to see why there’s some potential playing in the Leafs top six.
Now, some of that can be attributed to some bad luck, as he shot just 5.56% but his shot rates were down slightly as well, so it could be a skill issue.
It wasn’t too long ago that Gusev was highly sought after, as several teams were trying to acquire his rights from the Vegas Golden Knights. He was an excellent player in the KHL, so maybe the Leafs …
Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation