MHL All Star
U20 WJC Silver Medal
Completed his third season for CSKA's MHL team, where he has amassed an amazing 69 goals and 192 points in 120 games, a 1.60 points per game pace. Had 3 goals and 9 points for Russia in the U20 World Junior Championships en route to a Silver Medal. Ranked the #20 European skater by NHL Central Scouting Service. Selected in the 7th round, 202nd overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
"Nikita Gusev is a very fast player which plays a typical Russian style. He likes to play a finesse kind of game, leaving thus more than a question mark about the translation of his style to North America. He makes thing happen with his excellent speed. If left unchecked in the neutral zone he has all it takes to get on a breakaway and trick out the goalie with one of his fancy moves. He can be lethal on breakaways and his speed and technique might force defensemen to play more deep in the own zone. He has also a very good reading of the ice, even if he isn’t a pure playmaker. Unfortunately he doesn’t tie his offensive skills with an equal defensive ability. He needs to be less passive back in the zone and has to keep his feet moving even if the other team has the puck. Gusev also needs to fill his frame as now he isn’t physically ready to play pro hockey." (RussianProspect.com)
Flat out lights it up statistically. He has all the puck skills and offensive hockey sense you would expect out of a Russian forward, and winds up all over the stat sheet because of it. Great in space, and a magician with the puck who dangles and buys time for his linemates as a playmaker. Also has a good sense for finding holes without the puck and jumping into them to set up a good one-timer.
Tiny. You won't see many highlights of Gusev working his way in and out of traffic, because not much footage exists. More of a perimeter player to this point of his career. Skating lacks the high end gear you'd want from a player his size. Turns 20 in July and has yet to taste much success on the KHL level. A flight risk back to the KHL if he ever comes over to North America. The "Russian factor" strikes again.
Second line scoring winger