Russian eligibles set to invade CHL in Super Series

Aaron Vickers2013 Draft Center, International Events0 Comments

Two of Russia’s top exports for the 2013 NHL Draft will be put on display in North America.

Forwards Valeri Nichushkin and Bogdan Yakimov have been chosen to represent their country as part of the Subway Super Series, a set of exhibition matches against all-star teams from each of the QMJHL, OHL and WHL.

Nichushkin exploded out of the gate this season in the MHL, recording eight points in seven games before being promoted to Chelmet Chelyabinsk of the VHL. Playing against men, he continued his offensive punch with five goals in eight games. The six-foot-three forward is currently seventh in Future Considerations October ranking for the 2013 NHL Draft.

Yakimov has also found success in the VHL as one of the league’s top faceoff men. He’s found his offensive touch with Dizel Penza as well, with five points in 12 games played. The six-foot-four, 201-pound tank most recently represented Russia at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial this summer, scoring three goals and seven points.

Defenseman Pavel Koledov, also eligible in 2013, was named to the team as well. A late birthday, Koledov missed the 2012 NHL Draft by five days.

The trio of draft eligibles will have re-enforcements joining them on North American soil, too.

Baie-Comeau Drakkar’s Valentin Zykov will join up with his countrymen for their two-game set against Team QMJHL. The St.Petersburg product has had an impressive start to his first season in North America with six goals and 11 points in 10 games – sixth best among rookies.

Nikita Zadorov, playing for the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League, will also suit up when Russia takes on Team OHL in Guelph. The six-foot-five defenseman, who represented Russia at the World Under-18 Championship, was taken by London ninth overall in the CHL Import Draft. He has three assists in 11 games this season.

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