Valeri Nichushkin Deserves To Be In Calder Trophy Conversation
The Dallas Stars knew they were getting a skilled, talented player when drafting Valeri Nichushkin this year, but his improvement so far has been remarkable.
The Russian winger got off to a slow start in his first year in the NHL, but he started to pick it up sooner than expected and now that we are almost at the halfway mark of the regular season, there’s little doubt that the 18-year-old has been one of the top rookies in the league so far.
After playing 35 games so far, Nichushkin ranks in the top 10 in the following categories: goals, assists, points and plus-minus while averaging a little bit over 15 minutes on the ice per contest. He has been creating a lot of chemistry with Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, and if he continues to play like this, there’s nothing that suggests that he won’t be part of the conversation to win the Calder Trophy at the end of the campaign.
Sure, there have been other rookies that have been quite impressive and much more important to their teams’ success like Colorado Avalanche’s Nathan MacKinnon and San Jose Sharks’ Tomas Hertl, but they have been steady throughout the whole season so they could even regress a bit down the stretch. Nichushkin, on the other hand, has been showing improvement after each game and he could even put up better numbers than the other two players if he keeps getting consistent minutes in the Stars’ first scoring line.
Nichushkin might not win the trophy, but one thing is certain: the Stars drafted the Russian forward based on his huge potential and so far, all signs are pointing that this was a great move by the organization.
Couturier's Extension A Good Investment For Flyers
Sean Couturier may not have the greatest set of hands, but he is undoubtedly one of the best defensive centers in the NHL. The Flyers made a good move by investing in the center. Read More
Rangers' New Derek Stepan Deal Fair For Both Sides
Derek Stepan’s new deal pays him $6.5 million annually for the next six years. It is a fair deal for both sides short-term, but will it hurt the Rangers long-term? Read More