Skip to content

Stars aren’t concerned about ‘Russian factor’ with first-rounder

Jul 1, 2013, 6:28 PM EST

Nichushkingetty Getty Images

Some believed that the Dallas Stars managed a serious steal by drafting Valeri Nichushkin 10th overall on Sunday, but as with many Russian players, the threat of the KHL made others wonder if it was actually too big of a risk.

Stars GM Jim Nill told the Dallas Morning News that Nichushkin is free from his overseas deal and that they should be able to overcome “The Russian Factor.”

“We plan on signing him as soon as possible,” Nill said. “He’s free. His contract is free from Russia. We have notice from the NHL, from the KHL. So there was no problem that way for us. That’s not a concern.”

Nichuskin told R-Sport (translation via the Tampa Tribune) that he intends to jump to the NHL, although there’s a caveat at the end that might remind some of Nikita Filatov’s situation with Columbus years ago.

“I’ve already made up my mind that I’m leaving,” Nichushkin said. “At Dynamo they’ve been pretty calm about it. I was told that I can leave if I want. There are no legal problems with that at all. My contract with Dynamo has been terminated, and I’m leaving as a free agent. I’m lucky that the club has met me halfway on this. We’ve agreed that they’ll release me, but if something goes wrong across the ocean, I’ll come straight back.”

Nill believes that Sergei Gonchar could help Nichushkin, much like he did with Evgeni Malkin during his time with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“I think Sergei Gonchar’s going to be a big, big part of Valeri Nichushkin’s development,” Nill said. “Sergei Gonchar’s a high-end character guy. He’s the guy that gets a lot of credit for improving Malkin in Pittsburgh. The timing’s worked out perfect. He’s a great ambassador of the game and character guy. Now we have a young guy coming in that can learn from him, that’s really a bonus for us.”

Overall, it seems like the Stars think that the 18-year-old prospect is worth the risk, even if they’re seemingly downplaying the dangers.

Latest Posts
  1. Wild expect Granlund in the lineup Tuesday vs. Edmonton

    Jan 26, 2015, 10:25 PM EST

    Mikael Granlund #64 of the Minnesota Wild skates against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on February 1, 2013 in Anaheim, California.
(January 31, 2013 - Source: Jeff Gross/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

    He’s missed 13 games recovering from surgery on his fractured left wrist.

  2. Habs’ Carey Price forced to charter from Columbus to Montreal

    Jan 26, 2015, 9:30 PM EST

    Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 9.10.04 PM

    Several players had to make alternate arrangements leaving the All-Star Game.

  3. Devils’ Jagr battled the flu and mumps

    Jan 26, 2015, 8:35 PM EST

    JaromirJagr Getty Images

    Expected to play Wednesday against the Leafs

  4. Lombardi on waiving Richards: ‘These are the tough decisions you’ve got to make’

    Jan 26, 2015, 7:10 PM EST

    Dean Lombardi Getty Images

    Teams have till noon eastern time Tuesday to place a claim on the forward.

  5. Avs without Erik Johnson for up to eight weeks

    Jan 26, 2015, 6:16 PM EST

    Erik Johnson Getty Images

    The Avalanche are trying to claw their way into the playoffs.

  6. Wild send Kuemper to AHL on conditioning stint

    Jan 26, 2015, 5:52 PM EST

    Darcy Kuemper Getty Images

    Minnesota had three healthy goaltenders on its roster.

  7. Leafs captain Phaneuf week-to-week with upper-body injury

    Jan 26, 2015, 4:22 PM EST

    Milan Michalek Dion Phaneuf AP

    This might be the result of fighting in back-to-back games.

  8. Sabres suspend Zadorov, lose Neuvirth

    Jan 26, 2015, 3:12 PM EST

    Nikita Zadorov Getty Images

    The post-All-Star Game portion of the season isn’t starting any better for Buffalo.

  9. Lamoriello indicates time behind bench is winding down

    Jan 26, 2015, 2:21 PM EST

    New Jersey Devils Vs. Boston Bruins At TD Garden Getty Images

    He’s been overseeing co-coaches Adam Oates and Scott Stevens.

  10. Lightning concerned about Johnson’s lower-body injury

    Jan 26, 2015, 1:30 PM EST

    Tyler johnson Getty Images

    He didn’t end up playing in the All-Star Game.

  11. L.A. Sorry? Kings waive Mike Richards

    Jan 26, 2015, 12:31 PM EST

    Mike Richards Getty Images

    Remember, the club opted not to amnesty his contract last June.

  12. Kevin Bieksa has hand surgery, will miss 6-8 weeks

    Jan 26, 2015, 12:23 PM EST

    Kevin Bieksa Getty Images

    Canucks will give Frank Corrado a chance to show what he can do.

  13. Johansen, Karlsson, Parise named NHL’s three stars of the week

    Jan 26, 2015, 12:12 PM EST

    2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game Getty Images

    Columbus’ star center is having a nice little run at the moment.

  14. Ovechkin finally gets car once Honda learns why he wanted it so badly

    Jan 26, 2015, 11:23 AM EST

    Alex Ovechkin Getty Images

    “Everybody felt like I just want a car to drive it.”

Featured video

Who will excite most in All-Star game?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. K. Letang (3638)
  2. E. Malkin (3081)
  3. S. Crosby (2980)
  4. S. Bobrovsky (2724)
  5. C. Price (2570)
  1. P. Hornqvist (2443)
  2. J. Ortio (2308)
  3. Z. Rinaldo (1762)
  4. P. Rinne (1722)
  5. J. Toews (1716)