The 24-year-old had 10 assists and no goals in 57 games last season with the Dallas Stars. He has 23 goals and 51 assists in 223 career games, all with Dallas.
Nichushkin was brought in by the Avalanche to add "experience to our team," general manager Joe Sakic said Monday.
Nichushkin was the 10th overall pick by the Stars in 2013.
A native of Chelyabinsk, Russia, the 6-foot-4, 210-pound Nichushkin also suited up for 104 KHL games with Traktor Chelyabinsk and CSKA Moscow, where he accumulated 31 goals and 26 assists.