Jan 27, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Stars right wingValeri Nichushkin
(43) skates against the Colorado Avalanche during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Avalanche defeated the Stars 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Valeri Nichushkin, Dallas Stars
The “Russian Factor” amongst other things made Valeri Nichushkin one of the biggest risks in the 2013 Draft.
No one knew where he would go. Some thought he could go as early as the top-4, and some thought he’d fall to the middle or even late 1st round. The big winger ended up splitting the difference and going at 10th to Dallas.
A guy that has drawn comparisons to Alexander Ovechkin, Nichushkin was impressive in his rookie year. He tallied 14 goals and 20 assists in 79 games played in year one in Dallas. He also got 2 points in 6 playoff games.
A category that I was very impressed by was his plus/minus, which ranked tied for 5th amongst rookies in 2013-2014 at +20.
For a guy with so much offensive skill to do that well in all other areas of the ice as well is very promising.
Nichushkin’s sophomore season has been ruined by a hip injury that he suffered just 4 games into his season. His surgery in November will keep him out until at least mid to late April.
For where he was picked, Nichushkin was a very high value pick for the Dallas Stars.