FanPost

Valeri Nichushkin - Care and Feeding & Tapping the brakes

I read many comments about Nichu.

As a Stars fan I am hoping, dreaming, begging that he is the next one (tongue firmly in cheek).

As an old hockey player, coach and fan I see lots of articles and speculation from Stars fans about potential and few solid facts to support the new coronation.

So let's resolve to separating facts and hope:

1. Nichu is 19. Very young to succeed. Look at the last 3 drafts for top ten picks.

Draft Team Player Draft Year First Full Year 2013 Team Yrs to NHL
EDM Taylor Hall 2010 2010-2011 Edm 0
BOS Tyler Seguin 2010 2010-2011 Bos 0
FLA Erik Gudbranson 2010 2011-2012 FLA 1
CBJ Ryan Johansen 2010 2011-2012 CBJ 1
NYI Nino Niederreiter 2010 2011-2012 Bridgeport - AHL 1
TBL Brett Connolly 2010 2011-2012 TBL 1
CAR Jeff Skinner 2010 2010-2011 CAR 0
ATL Alexander Burmistrov 2010 2010-2011 WIN 0
MIN Mikael Granlund 2010 2012-2013 Min 2
NYR Dylan McIlrath 2010 Yet to Play in NHL Connecticut - AHL ?
EDM Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 2011 2011-2012 EDM 0
COL Gabriel Landeskog 2011 2011-2012 COL 0
FLA Jonathan Huberdeau 2011 2012-2013 FLA 1
NJD Adam Larsson 2011 2011-2012 NJD 0
NYI Ryan Strome 2011 Yet to Play in NHL Birdgeport - AHL ?
OTT Mika Zibanejad 2011 2012-2013 OTT 1
WPG Mark Scheifele 2011 2012-2013 WPG 1
PHI Sean Couturier 2011 2011-2012 PHI 0
BOS Dougie Hamilton 2011 2012-2013 BOS 1
MIN Jonas Brodin 2011 2012-2013 Min 1
EDM Nail Yakupov 2012 2012-2013 EDM 0
CBJ Ryan Murray 2012 Yet to Play in NHL Everett - WHL ? Injured
MTL Alex Galchenyuk 2012 2012-2013 MTL 0
NYI Griffin Reinhart 2012 Yet to Play in NHL Edmonton - WHL ?
TOR Morgan Rielly 2012 Yet to Play in NHL Toronto - AHL ?
ANA Hampus Lindholm 2012 Yet to Play in NHL Rögle BK ?
MIN Mathew Dumba 2012 Yet to Play in NHL Red Deer - WHL ?
PIT Derrick Pouliot 2012 Yet to Play in NHL Wilkes-Barre - AHL ?
WPG Jacob Trouba 2012 Yet to Play in NHL University of Michigan ?
TBL Slater Koekkoek 2012 Yet to Play in NHL PETERBOROUGH PETES-OHL

?

So, in the past 3 drafts (not including 2013), a maximum of 4 out of 10 players drafted in the top 10 made their NHL team in their first year.

Why do we think Valeri is destined to beat these historic norms?

2. Where did he play last year? The KHL. This is a league that has 2-3 ex NHL'ers on the roster of about 50% of the KHL teams. The remaining KHL rosters are filled with young players - most who will never play in the NHL EVER. In that league he started out very slow and did better as the year went on. Why are we convinced that he will do so much better out of the chute in the NHL, which is filled with hundreds of mature and accomplished players?

3. His performance at the prospects camp. Yes, lots of stories about equipment and skate issues. Yet the bottom line is that he was average. He didn't make any impact statement. Is this the basis on which we promote him in August to a top 6 position? If he had been head and shoulders above the rest, then I'd be bullish. Instead he was very average in a peer group that may have 6 true future NHL players out of 30 on the ice.

So, here we are. An intriguing player that may be the next one. Or he may be a flash in the pan - remember, he only impressed in one half season in the KHL - that is his resume folks.

Like I said at the outset, I hope I'm dead wrong. Hard data points me to a more cautious place.

Top 6 in October? Nope.

Ruff and company will work him in very slowly and cautiously - especially in light of his hand shake agreement with his former team in the KHL.

This is a user-created FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of SB Nation or Defending Big D. FanPost opinions are valued expressions of opinion by passionate and knowledgeable hockey and Dallas Stars fans.

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