According to reports KHL team Magnitogorsk Metallurg has signed free agent left winger Nikolai Kulemin to a multi-year contract worth $3.2 million per season. This is the team Kulemin played with for three seasons before coming to North America.
— Spector's Hockey (@SpectorsHockey) May 28, 2018
Nikolai Kulemin Signs With KHL Club Metallurg Magnitogorsk
Over his ten-year NHL career, Kulemin has played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, and New York Islanders. He has put up 121 goals and 153 assists for 274 career points in 669 career games. Kulemin has added two goals and five assists for seven points in 25 career Stanley Cup Playoff games. He was originally drafted in the second round, 44th overall of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft by Toronto.
Last season, he scored one goal and two assists for three points in just 13 games. He had no minutes in penalties. His possession numbers were 46.2 percent Corsi and a relative Corsi of -8.3.
Kulemin sustained a shoulder injury on November 7th and was unable to return to the lineup. He commented in April that had the Islander made the playoffs, he would have been able to return to action.
What This Means for the Future
Kulemin was a 30 goal scorer in the 2010-2011 season. His best season since saw him score just 15 goals in 2014-2015. Now headed back to the KHL, he’ll be looked at to play a top-six role and become a key contributor.
His relative Corsi was not positive in any of his four seasons with the Islanders, but his defensive zone starts rose in each of his first three seasons to 64.9% in 2016-2017. If he can continue to provide strong defensive play, he could prove to be a valuable bottom six winger that can be trusted defensively and still chip in the odd goal.
After shoulder surgery earlier this year, Kulemin is expected to return to full health. At 31 years old, he could have a few more seasons in him.