Nikita Soshnikov

Hometown:

Nizhny Tagil Russia

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1993-10-14

Position:

RW

Eligible for draft:

2012

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

Height:

5-11

Acquired:

Signed as free agent, 2015

Weight:

185 lbs.

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History

2008-09: Nikita Soshnikov skated for the Sputnik 1993’s in his hometown of Nizhny Tagil in the Ural region of Russia. Sputnik finished last in the eight-team league, winning just 2 of 28 games. 

2009-10: Soshnikov moved to Moscow to skate for the Atlant Mystishchi 1993 junior team. He scored 19 goals with 15 assists and 22 penalty minutes in 29 regular season games and scored 21 goals with 18 assists and 26 penalty minutes in 19 games during the Moscow 2nd Group Russian Championships. Soshnikov was selected by the Atlant men’s team in the sixth round (123rd overall) in the 2010 KHL Draft. 

2010-11: Soshkinov played for the Atlanty Mytishchi junior team in the U22 MHL in his second season with the club. He scored 17 goals with 10 assists and was +8 with 14 penalty minutes in 48 regular season games. Atlanty had the MHL’s 10th best record in the regular season and reached the playoff quarterfinals, falling to Red Army Moscow. Soshnikov had 1 assist and was -1 with 6 penalty minutes in six playoff games. 

2011-12: Soshnikov was the fourth-leading scorer for Atlanty Mystischi in his second MHL season. He scored 14 goals with 20 assists in 47 regular season games and was +7 with 12 penalty minutes. Mytishchi had the league’s seventh best record and reached the playoff semifinals before being swept by Red Army. Soshnikov scored 1 goal with 4 assists and was +3 with 25 penalty minutes in 11 playoff games. 

2012-13: Soshnikov was second in the MHL with 38 goals in his third season with Atlanty Mystishchi, one goal behind SKA-1946’s Alexander Barabanov for the league lead. He was the league’s fifth-leading scorer with 34 assists and 72 points and was +44 with 47 penalty minutes in 59 regular season games. Atlanty finished first in the Western Conference and lost to HC MVD Balashikha in the conference semifinals. Soshnikov scored 5 goals with 4 assists and was +6 with 4 penalty minutes in eight playoff games. 

2013-14:Soshnikov made his KHL debut — skating in 33 regular season games for Atlant Mytishchi. He played four games with second league (VHL) squad Buran Voronezh and skated for the Atlanty Mystishchi junior team. Soshnikov scored 2 goals with 3 assists and was -4 with 27 penalty minutes, averaging 9:49 minutes of ice time in KHL play. Atlant finished fourth in the Tarasov Division, missing the playoffs. Soshnikov scored 2 goals with 2 assists and was +1 with Buran. In 12 games with the Atlant junior team, including two playoff contests, he scored 7 goals with 8 assists and was +9 with 4 penalty minutes. 

2014-15: Soshnikov was the fourth-leading scorer for Atlant Mytishchi in his second KHL season with 33 points — one point behind former New York Rangers’ defenseman Matt Gilroy. He scored 14 goals with 18 assists and was +5 with 22 penalty minutes, averaging 14 minutes of ice time per game.  Atlant finished fourth in the Bobrov Division — three points behind HK Sochi for the final playoff spot in the West Conference. Soshnikov signed a three-year entry-level contract with Toronto in March 2015.

2015-16: Soshnikov made his NHL debut with the Maple Leafs in a February 29th game against Tampa Bay after being recalled from AHL affiliate Toronto, skating in 11 games with the Leafs before suffering an upper body injury. Soshnikov scored 2 goals with 3 assists and was -4 with 6 penalty minutes, averaging 15:37 minutes of ice time. He played 52 regular season games for the Marlies in his first season in North America, scoring 18 goals with 10 assists and finishing +26 with 18 penalty minutes. The Marlies finished first in the North Division, advancing to the Eastern Conference finals against Hershey. Soshnikov scored 4 goals with 2 assists and was +5 with 4 penalty minutes in 10 playoff games after returning from his injury. 

Talent Analysis

Soshnikov is an undersized, but highly-skilled forward who can dart in and out of plays quickly. He likes to go to the net and is consistently looking for ways to create scoring chances. He is not overly physical and will sometimes be overmatched in one-on-one battles due to his lack of bulk. He is a high-energy forward.

Future

Soshnikov made a smooth transition from Russia to North America in 2015-16, skating in 11 games with the Maple Leafs and playing a strong two-way game for the AHL's Toronto Marlies. An undersized but highly-skilled forward, he will push for a spot in training camp but may start the 2016-17 season in the AHL. Soshnikov is not a pure scorer but projects as the type of smaller, skilled forward that can be effective in all three zones.

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