Sergei Shirokov is familiar to many avid world junior watchers because of his appearances in the past two tournaments where he impressed many with his shiftiness and stickhandling. He played eight games with CSKA Moscow in 2004-05, not registering any points or penalty minutes.
2005-06: He spent the past season with CSKA and posted good enough numbers with seven goals and six assists in 39 regular season games. Shirokov’s draft value went up after the World Juniors. He got off to a good start but slowed down in playoffs. Shirokov’s skating skills and passing ability helped him develop an effective duo with speedy forward Nikolai Lemtyugov (STL).
2006-07: The diminutive Russian had a breakout season with 16 goals and 18 assists in 52 games with CSKA.
2007-08: For the second straight season, Shirokov scored 34 points with CSKA. It proved that last season was no fluke, but the same questions remain about his future.
2008-09: Shirokov was the leading scorer for CSKA Moscow (Red Army) in Russia's re-named KHL. He finished with 17 goals and 24 assists in 56 games and was +8 with 41 PMs as CSKA finished with the fifth-best record in the 24-team league. In eight playoff games he scored 1 goal with 3 assists. Shirokov signed an entry-level contract with the Vancouver Canucks in August 2009.
2009-10: Shirokov made his NHL debut with the Canucks early in the season before spending the majority of his first North American pro season with Manitoba in the AHL. In six October games Shirokov was scoreless with a -4 plus/minus while averaging just under 13 minutes of ice time. In 76 games with Manitoba Shirokov was the second-leading scorer on a Moose team that struggled to score goals. He scored 22 goals with 23 assists and had a -1 plus/minus and 32 PMs. In six AHL playoff games he had 2 assists and was an even plus/minus with 4 PMs.
2010-11: Shirokov appeared in two January games for the Canucks, scoring his first NHL goal, and was also with Vancouver during the team's Stanley Cup run though he did not see any action. To his credit, Shirokov had another strong season for AHL Manitoba, leading the Moose in scoring and being selected to the AHL All-Star Game. In 76 games with Manitoba he scored 22 goals with 36 assists and was +7 with 51 PMs. Shirokov played in all 14 playoff games as the Moose reached the second round. He had a team-leading 7 goals with 3 assists and was an even plus/minus with 4 PMs. Shirokov signed a three-year contract with CSKA Moscow following the season. Florida acquired his NHL rights from Vancouver in a trade for forward Mike Duco in July 2011.
Shirokov blossomed last season in the KHL. He led CSKA Moscow in scoring by a significant margin, finished ninth overall in the KHL, and took a well-earned spot on the KHL All-Star team. He has the vision and finishing ability to potentially develop into a supporting scorer at the NHL level, should he ever decide to return to North America.
Shirokov remains under contract with CSKA Moscow through the end of the 2013-14 season, and given the kind of success that he has found in Russia (but eluded him in the North America) the chances of his return to the NHL are rapidly fading.