2008-09: Maxim Kitsyn played for Metallurg Novokuznetsk in the KHL. In 31 games, he scored 5 goals and added 2 assists for 7 points. Kitsyn played for Russia at the U-18 World Junior Championships. In 7 games, he scored 4 goals and added 4 assists for 8 points.
2009-10: Kitsyn split the season between Metallurg Novokuznetsk in the KHL and Kuznetskie Medvedi in the MHL. In 21 KHL games, Maxim Kitsyn scored 1 goal and 1 assist for 2 points. In the MHL, he netted 6 goals and added 12 assists for 18 points in 11 games. In 17 playoff games for that club, he scored 9 goals and added 12 assists for 21 points. At the 2010 U-20 WJC, Kitsyn picked up 3 assists in 6 games.
2010-11: Kitsyn opened the season with Novokuznetsk Metallurg, skating in 18 games for the weakest team in Russia’s KHL. After leading gold medal-winning Russia with five goals at the 2011 U20 World Junior Tournament in Buffalo he remained in North America and finished the season with Mississauga St. Michaels in the OHL. Kitsyn scored 3 goals with 4 assists and was -2 with 8 PMs for Metallurg. In addition to his 5 goals, he had 4 assists and was +7 with Team Russia. Kitsyn joined a Majors team with the OHL’s best record as it prepared to host the Memorial Cup. After scoring 9 goals with 17 assists in 32 regular season games, Kitsyn was the Majors’ second-leading scorer in the playoffs with 10 goals and 9 assists in 19 playoff games as the Majors lost to Midwest Division champion Owen Sound in the OHL Finals. Kitsyn had 1 goal with 1 assist and was +3 with 8 PMs in five Memorial Cup games for the runner-up Majors (3-2).
2011-12: Kitsyn returned to Russia to play for Metallurg Novokuznetsk in the KHL; also spending time with lower division club Yermak Angarsk and the Novokuznetsk junior team. He scored 1 goal with 2 assists and was minus-17 with 13 penalty minutes in 32 games for Metallurg. In six regular season VHL games with Yermak Angarsk he had 2 goals with 2 assists and he was scoreless with 4 penalty minutes in four playoff games. In 10 junior games with Kuznetzie Medvedi he had 7 goals with 1 assist and was minus-eight with 10 penalty minutes. Kitsyn was the second-leading scorer for Medvedi in the MHL playoffs, scoring 3 goals with 3 assists in seven games, and was plus-four with 8 penalty minutes.
2012-13: Kitsyn skated in eight KHL games with Torpedo Nizhny, spending most of the season with HK Sarov in Russia’s second league, the VHL. He was -1 with no points and 4 penalty minutes in limited ice time for Torpedo. Kitsyn scored 3 goals with 12 assists in 29 regular season games for Sarov and was +7 with 63 penalty minutes. Sarov finished 15th and lost to second-place Rubin Tyumen in a first round playoff series. Kitsyn scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was +3 with 4 penalty minutes in five playoff games. He signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Kings in July, 2013.
2013-14: Kitsyn appeared in 20 regular season games with Los Angeles AHL affiliate Manchester and was one of the top scorers for the ECHL’s Ontario Reign in his first pro season in North America. He scored 3 goals with 1 assist and was -2 with 2 penalty minutes with the Monarchs. Manchester finished first in the Atlantic Division but was defeated by Norfolk in four games in a best-of-five first round playoff series. Kitsyn scored 14 goals with 16 assists and was +15 with 27 penalty minutes in 33 regular season games for Ontario. The Reign finished first in the Pacific Division but was swept by Stockton in a first round playoff series. Kitsyn scored 1 goal and had 2 penalty minutes with an even plus/minus in four playoff games.
Kitsyn is a supremely talented young forward with the body and skill package to suggest he could one day develop into a power forward. One criticism of him when he played in the KHL was that he was inconsistent shift-to-shift, let alone game-to-game. That trend has continued in North America and he has spent the majority of his first two seasons in the Kings' organization with the ECHL's Ontario Reign. Kitsyn has shown a great confidence and elite ability playing against lesser competition, suggesting he simply needs more time to physically mature. He has accumulated a career-high in penalty minutes in his second season with the Reign, suggesting he may be interested in pursuing a role as an enforcer, energy player with his size and strength.
Kitsyn attended training camp with the Kings and has spent the bulk of the 2014-15 season with the ECHL's Ontario Reign — appearing in a handful of AHL games with the Manchester Monarchs. After accumulating just 27 penalty minutes in his first season with the Reign he has topped the 100 mark this season, suggesting he has played a more abrasive style. He continues to score consistently at the ECHL level but whether that game can translate to the AHL and eventually NHL levels is uncertain at this point. Long-term he projects as a two-way scoring forward with a physical edge to his game. Whether he tops out at the minor pro level, returns to Europe, or cracks an NHL roster in the future remains to be seen.