One of the brightest young talents in the Rangers organization could soon be on his way to North America.
Per the Post, Pavel Buchnevich — the 85th overall pick in 2013 — is close to signing his entry-level deal, possibly by this weekend.
[Buchnevich] has representation both in North America and in Russia, so the process is not always straightforward. But The Post has been told that Buchnevich has declared his intent to join the Rangers after deferring that decision last year.
If the deal is indeed consummated, the plan would be for Buchnevich — who does not speak English — to spend as much of the summer as possible training in New York in order to become acclimated to his surroundings.
The Russian forward, who only turned 21 last month, is coming off a quality KHL campaign split between Cherepovets Severstal and SKA St. Petersburg, scoring 16 goals and 37 points in 58 games.
The Post notes Buchnevich has drawn comparisons to Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov.
Where the youngster plays next year remains to be seen. Given his pedigree and skill set, it’s likely he’ll get a crack at making the Rangers’ roster out of camp, which would fit with the plan to get him to North America as soon as possible.
But much will depend on what GM Jeff Gorton does this offseason.
Up front, the club has three UFAs in Viktor Stalberg, Dominic Moore and Eric Staal. The latter two are not expected to receive new deals, while Stalberg could return on the cheap — he scored nine goals and 20 points on a $1.1 million deal this year, which was fairly good value.
Those three are likely low on Gorton’s priority chart, however.
The Blueshirts GM has some key RFAs to negotiate with — Chris Kreider, J.T. Miller, Kevin Hayes and Dylan McIlrath — and there have been rumblings about a potential buyout of Dan Girardi, who’s under contract through 2020 with a $5.5 million annual cap hit.