NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The New York Rangers have signed highly touted Russian forward Pavel Buchnevich to an entry-level contract, the team announced Friday.
The Blueshirts selected Buchnevich in the third round of the 2013 entry draft, but he opted to play in Russia’s KHL.READ MORE: Viral Video Shows Unmasked NYPD Officer Pushing Masked Commuter Out Of Subway Station
Known as a skilled playmaker, Buchnevich, 21, split the 2015-16 KHL season between Severstal Cherepovets and SKA St. Petersburg, skating in 58 combined regular season games. The 6-foot-2, 176-pound forward, scored 16 goals and recorded 21 assists while averaging 19.5 shifts and 16:10 TOI per game.READ MORE: Hip-Hop Improv Show 'Freestyle Love Supreme' Returns To Broadway
His three-year deal with the Rangers is believed to carry a $925,000 annual salary cap hit, the New York Daily News reported.
“He’s an intense player,” Rangers European scout Vladimir Lutchenko said in 2015. “He has skated well, has been strong on the puck and possesses good vision. He makes quick, smart decisions with the puck and makes plays with his creative passes. He has great playmaking ability. He has the ability to control the game and to make quick decisions with the puck while in traffic.”
The addition of Buchnevich gives the Rangers some much-needed youth. With an average age of 28.2, the Blueshirts were the NHL’s oldest team this past season.MORE NEWS: Eligible New Jersey Residents Urged To Get COVID Booster Shot
The Rangers reached the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs but were eliminated in five games by the Pittsburgh Penguins.