As we begin the off-season, the NHL Entry Draft is quickly approaching. That being said, we now take a look at a player that comes with some controversy. Most recently with Chelyabinsk Traktor, Valeri Nichushkin is seen by many as the most dynamic forward to be taken at this year’s draft, but he comes with one quirk, the Russian factor. Many believe that he could be the number one overall pick if it weren’t for the possible threat of Nichushkin bolting for the Kontinental Hockey League at the first sign of trouble or use it as a threat during contractual discussions. That being said, we continue our scouting reports with our friends at International Scouting Services (ISS Hockey) by taking a look at what Valeri Nichushkin has to offer. Here’s what lead scout Dennis MacInnis had to say on Nichushkin:
Penalty Box Radio: Briefly describe what makes Nichushkin’s skill-set unique from others in the draft.
Dennis MacInnis: Big strong powerful puck possession player with very good offensive instinct and ability
PBR: What three teams that did not make the playoffs could benefit most from drafting him and why?
DM: Tampa Bay – Gives them another offensive threat behind Stamkos that would force teams to really manage their line matchups
Dallas – With some good young playmakers and some established goal scorers, Stars could use young Russian’s size to add versatility to their attack
New Jersey – Very good fit with Kovalchuk, another big body who can play New Jersey’s style well
PBR: What current NHL player would Nichushkin be similar to once he reaches his prime?
DM: Jaromir Jagr
PBR: What ability does he have that would strike fear into opponents?
DM: Can be near impossible to rip the puck from, always seems to be a step ahead of his opponents around the puck
PBR: Can you see Valeri Nichushkin playing immediately in the 2013-2014 NHL season?
Check the highlights below:
We have one more scouting report to complete before the draft. Make sure to check out our other reports on Seth Jones, Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin and Sasha Barkov. You can purchase the ISS Draft Guide for more information about all draft prospects. Make sure to follow them on Twitter @ISSHockey.