Former New Jersey Devils Forward Breaks KHL Scoring Record

Nikita Gusev came to the New Jersey Devils with a ton of hype, and he's delivering on that hype in another country.

Boston Bruins v New Jersey Devils
Boston Bruins v New Jersey Devils / Elsa/GettyImages

Once upon a time, during the dark days of the tail end of the New Jersey Devils' rebuild, the team signed an elite Russian forward to add a new dynamic to a young team. After not even two full seasons, that dream was dead.

Remember Nikita Gusev? The KHL superstar joined the Devils as a free agent signee in the summer of 2019 after the team traded a 2020 third-round pick and a 2021 second-round pick to secure his rights. In his first season - one in which the Devils were horrendous - Gusev finished with 44 points in 66 games, trailing Kyle Palmieri for the team lead by one point.

The days of Gusev and names like John Hayden, Dakota Mermis, Matt Tennyson, Kevin Rooney, and Mirco Mueller, are now over. Current Devils coach Lindy Ruff jettisoned Gusev after he managed only five points in 20 games in the 2020-21 season, and he found himself back in the KHL the following year.

Gusev spent the previous two seasons plying his trade with SKA St. Petersburg before joining up with Dynamo Moskva before the start of this season. And, the 31-year-old just made history. After scoring his 86th point of the year on Feb. 24 against Admiral Vladivostok, Gusev now owns the single-season scoring record in the KHL, overtaking Sergei Mozyakin (85) as the top dog.

The former Devils ace now owns two of the three highest-scoring seasons in KHL history; Gusev scored 82 points in 2018-19 - the year before he left for New Jersey - which is good for third-most in league history. Gusev, now at 502 career points, is approaching Nigel Dawes (505 points) for fifth in all-time scoring in the KHL.


The KHL record-breaker last played in the NHL in the 2020-21 season, but not with the Devils. Gusev played a brief 11-game stint with the Florida Panthers, during which he scored two goals and three assists.