Yesterday, there was smoke around a rumor of Stars RFA forward Valeri Nichushkin possibly going to the KHL, well today that has been made official with the 21 year old forward signing a two year deal with CSKA of the KHL.
Sean Shapiro of Wrong Side of the Red Line spoke to Stars General Manager Jim Nill about the situation and the Stars were well aware of this possibly occurring.
“I’m not going to be surprised if he does sign there,”
“They know our offer, they know where we’re at. It’s his decision. I’m not going to stop that.”
“The good news is he’s 21 years of age, he’s going to play over there and keep developing,”
“I just hope we get a more mature player when he decides to come back over. It’s not the end of the world.”
So the Dallas Stars retain his rights for six more years should he decide to return.
This makes the signing of Jiri Hudler even better as he will be a very capable replacement in the top six.
The only feeling I personally have towards this subject is just disappointment. When Valeri Nichushkin was drafted 10th overall in 2013, I felt the Stars had a game changer. Not since the Stars had drafted Mike Modano have the Stars had a pure blue chip offensive prospect like Nichushkin. They had nice wingers such as Brenden Morrow, Steve Ott and others who contributed to the top six, but none were projected to be the game changing fixture that Valeri Nichushkin. All this frustration is just current day though, Nichushkin is only 21 and will be 23 when he possibly could return to the NHL. This may be better for his development and he comes back the player we were all hoping for, but only time will tell. So best of luck to Valeri Nichushkin in this current endeavor.
Photo: Amanda Spielberger/Shattered Lens Photography