2007-08: Nikita Filatov continued his dominance at the junior levels, performing well with CSKA 2 and on Russia’s U18 and U20 squads. His performance on the U20 squad was especially impressive, since Filatov was one of the youngest players and that did not prevent him from being one of the brightest stars. He again finished as Russia’s top point getter and second sniper just a goal behind Viktor Tikhonov. In Russia, Filatov made his Super League debut to fill in on the fourth line, but he did not stick with the already established high powered squad and only skated 5 games for CSKA’s main club team.
2008-09: Filatov spent most of his first season in North America playing in the AHL with the Syracuse Crunch. In 39 AHL games, the dynamic Russian scored 16 goals along with 16 assists for 32 points. He saw time in 8 NHL games with Columbus, registering 4 goals. Filatov appeared in his second World Junior Championships for Russia, where he served as the team’s captain and scored 8 goals and 3 assists for 11 points en route to a bronze medal.
2009-10: Filatov began the season in Columbus, appearing in 13 games with only 2 goals on the scoresheet. The Jackets’ top prospect was unhappy about the ice time he was getting from then-coach Ken Hitchcock and Filatov was eventually loaned back to Russia. Playing with his former team CSKA Moscow, Filatov’s scoring touch returned with 9 goals and 22 points in 26 games. He added 1 assist in 3 playoff games for Moscow. Filatov served as captain of Russia’s WJC entry for the second consecutive year, but the tournament was a disappointment for the team. Filatov scored only 1 goal, 5 assists and was stripped of his captaincy before the team’s final game after questioning the team’s coaches in the media.
2010-11: In a season when he was expected to breakout, Filatov may have regressed in his development. Columbus had sent development coach Tyler Wright over to Russia to assist with his preparation during the off-season and he came to camp early with a clean slate from new head coach Scott Arniel. He’d spoken with his friend Sergei Shirokov, who previously played for Arniel in Manitoba and offered his background on the coach. The winger broke camp with the Blue Jackets contributing seven assists in 23 games before getting sent down to the AHL in December. He scored nine goals and 11 assists in 36 games with the Springfield Falcons where he missed some time with a neck injury but continued to show flashes of his talent.
2011-12: Obtained by Ottawa from Columbus in June in exchange for a third round pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, Filatov opened the season with the Senators. He shuffled between Ottawa and AHL affiliate Binghamton until mid-December when he was loaned to CSKA Moscow in Russia. He had an assist in the Senators’ season opener, his only point in nine NHL games, and was plus-one with 4 penalty minutes; averaging just under 10 minutes of ice time. He scored 7 goals with 5 assists in 13 games for Binghamton and was plus-three with 12 penalty minutes. Filatov scored 4 goals with 4 assists in 18 regular season games for CSKA and was minus-three with one assist in five KHL playoff games.
2012-13: Filatov skated for Ufa Salavat Yulaev in the KHL after signing a two-year contract with the club in May 2012. He scored 10 goals with 11 assists in 47 games and was +9 with 24 penalty minutes. Salavat finished second in the Chernyshev Division and advanced to the East Conference semifinals – falling to Ak Bars Kazan in seven games. Filatov scored 3 goals with 3 assists in 13 playoff games and was +2 with 6 penalty minutes.
A talented scoring forward who is capable of creating offensive chances for himself and his line-mates. The right-handed shooting winger possesses excellent skating ability and a very quick top gear. An above average puck-handler, but is not as effective in traffic and this is something that he has been working and improving over the past season. Hasn’t yet filled in his 6’0 frame, though has gained some strength and put on much-needed weight. Does not have a strong physical presence and will likely continue developing and becoming more capable of handling physical pressure, but will not likely ever be able to dish it out at the same level due to his size limitations. Has a very dangerous wrist shot and very soft hands – capable of making very precise passes. Defensively tries to help, but is marginal in his own zone, preferring to break out into an offensive rush. Overall he’s a very talented forward who continues to improve every year and doesn’t hesitate to take on challenges.
Filatov has returned to Russia to play in the KHL, possibly for good. He is still young, though, so a return to the NHL at a later date may not be out of the question.