Maxim Kitsyn, the Kings’ sixth-round draft pick, was actually at Staples Center for the draft. Kitsyn, 18, is a forward listed at 6-foot-2, 194 pounds. Entering the draft, he was ranked No. 6 among European skaters by NHL Central Scouting. Last season, in the KHL, Kitsyn had one goal and one assist in 21 games.
Kitsyn’s English is limited, but I was able to talk to his agent, Alexander Tuyjnych, who is also the agent for Kings prospect Viatcheslav Voynov. The agent was able to explain Kitsyn’s contract situation in the KHL and the possibility that Kitsyn will be able to play junior hockey in North America next season. Here’s the quotes…
Question: Can you talk about Maxim’s contract situation?
TUYJNYCH: “He has a contract for three more years with his current club, Metallurg Novokuznetsk. He has already played for this team for two years. This is a KHL team. Basically, we have discussed, with the president and the coach of the team, the possibility that he will play, maybe this year, major-junior hockey. Right now, we are trying very hard, and there is a possibility in December, after the World Junior Championships, if he makes the national team, that he would be able to play major-junior hockey.”
Question: Would he like to play in North America this season, if possible?
TUYJNYCH: “The situation is, he wants to play. Max wants to play major-junior. We have discussed him with major-junior teams already. He has a contract for three more years, but we have a window, by December, and I will try very hard to make a deal with the team and move him to a major-junior team. We’ve got one team already that maybe will select him on June 29 as a European draft pick.”
Question: How do you feel about where he went in the draft?
TUYJNYCH: “We knew he would be very low in the draft, because first of all, he had a very bad season. But he also had an injury and he didn’t play for two months. After the World Juniors, he played very well. In the junior division, he was a top goal-scoring guy.”