Kuznetsov leaves UConn blue line after sophomore year, inks NHL deal with Calgary

Yan Kuznetsov played in all 34 games during his freshman season at UConn and finished the year with 11 points coming on two goals and nine assists from the back end (photo: Stephen Slade/UConn Athletics).

UConn defenseman Yan Kuznetsov has signed a three-year entry level contract with the NHL’s Calgary Flames, forgoing his final two years of eligibility with the Huskies.

Kuznetsov was a second-round pick (50th overall) by the Flames in the 2020 NHL Draft. The the youngest player in the NCAA as a freshman in 2019-20, Kuznetsov was the fourth highest draft pick in UConn program history.

In his two seasons in Storrs, Kuznetsov played in 50 games and totaled 17 points on three goals and 14 assists.

During the 2020-21 season, he had six points (goal, five assists) in 16 games and finished plus-5 for the year.

As well, Kuznetsov and classmate Vladislav Firstov, Kuznetsov became the first NCAA players to earn a spot on Team Russia for the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship.