Nikita Kucherov
Image: NHL

Nikita Kucherov

Hometown:

Maikop Russia

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1993-06-17

Position:

RW

Eligible for draft:

2011

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2011

Height:

6-0

Acquired:

2nd round (58th overall), 2011

Weight:

165 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • B

History

2009-10: Nikita Kucherov played in the MHL, Russia's junior league, for CSKA Krasnaja Armija Moskva. In 53 games, he scored 29 goals and added 25 assists for 54 points. In 5 playoff games, Kucherov registered 2 assists. Kucherov was chosen in the third round, 60th overall, of the 2010 KHL Draft by CSKA Moskva.

2010-11: Kucherov spent most of the season with the CSKA Krasnaja Armija Moskva in the MHL, scoring 25 goals and adding 28 assists for 53 points in 35 games. Kucherov also appeared in 8 KHL games for CSKA Moskva, picking up 2 assists. Kucherov played for Russia at the 2010 World Junior A Challenge, scoring 2 goals and adding 5 assists for 7 points in 4 games. He also represented Russia at the 2011 U-18 World Junior Championship, scoring 11 goals and adding 10 assists for 21 points in 7 games. His goal total was the best in that tournament, as was his point total. Kucherov was named the Best Forward of the U-18 WJC.

2011-12: Kucherov appeared in 18 KHL games with CSKA Moscow and represented Russia at the 2012 U20 World Junior Championship in addition to skating for the CSKA-Red Army U22 team. He had 1 goal with 4 assists and was minus-one with four penalty minutes in KHL play. Skating for the silver-medal winning Russian squad at the WJC, he scored 2 goals with 5 assists and was plus-four with 2 penalty minutes in seven games. Kucherov had 43 points in 23 MHL games for CSKA-Red Army. He scored 24 goals with 19 assists and was plus-16 with 40 penalty minutes. In seven playoff games he scored 3 goals with 1 assist and was minus-three. Kucherov was selected in the first round (43rd overall) of the 2012 CHL Import Draft by the Quebec Remparts.

2012-13: Kucherov signed a three-year, entry-level contract with Tampa Bay in September of 2012 and played in the QMJHL in his first season in North America. He was the leading scorer for Russia at the 2013 World Junior Championship. Kucherov began the year with Quebec but was a healthy scratch at times due to the league's import limit. He scored 3 goals with 7 assists in six games before being traded to Rouyn-Noranda in November. Kucharov scored 26 goals with 27 assists in 27 regular season games for the Huskies and was +18 with 12 penalty minutes. Rouyn-Noranda finished second in the West Division and reached the playoff semifinals. Kucherov scored 9 goals with 15 assists in 14 playoff games and was +8 with 10 penalty minutes. In seven games at the WJC he scored 5 goals with 3 assists and was +4 with 4 penalty minutes. Russia defeated Canada 6-5 in overtime in the bronze medal game.

 

Talent Analysis

An exciting player with an immense talent, Kucherov is a game breaker and a natural goal-scorer who can score with ease thanks to his excellent one-timer and wrist shot. He likes to go top shelf and is pretty effective in doing so. Mainly an offensive player, Kucherov needs to work on his defensive play and add some meat. He has very good hockey sense and is very difficult to contain due to his skills and skating.

 

Future

Kucherov has begun his pro career playing for the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL in 2013-14.

 

On the Rush, December 2013

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The AHL is nearly at the quarter-pole for the 2013-14 season, with most teams approaching the 20-game mark in their season. Teams are beginning to find their strengths and weaknesses, and some players – like Tyler Toffoli – have already been called up to their NHL affiliate.

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Erie Otters goaltender Oscar Dansk (CLB) is the Hockey's Future Prospect of the Month for October of 2013. In eight starts, the Swedish goaltender posted an 8-0 record, a 1.75 goals-against average, a .921 save percentage, and two shutouts.

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Photo: Richard Panik (left), Tyler Johnson (center), and Alex Killorn (right) have been a crucial component of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s success in the 2013-14 NHL season. (courtesy of Mark LoMoglio/Icon SMI)

Armed with one of the top prospect pools in all of the NHL, the Tampa Bay Lightning are starting to reap the rewards of good drafting, particularly in the mid-rounds. In the past few years they have added high-ceiling players like Jonathan Drouin and Andrey Vasilevskiy in the first round, whom have been complemented nicely with former mid-round selections like Ondrej Palat, Radko Gudas, and Alex Killorn.

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