After two years, Valeri Nichushkin is finally lacing up his skates for the Dallas Stars once again. Although the NHL is nothing new to the former 10th overall draft pick, it’ll still take time to readjust after time in the KHL.
Thankfully, Nichuskin already has a mentor of some sorts, in the form of veteran and fellow Russian Alexander Radulov.
So when Nichushkin needs a quick translation from Russian to English, he asks Radulov for help. And when Radulov wants a quick video clip to post on Instagram, he gravitates toward Nichushkin.
”Just has to work hard and continue to prove,” Radulov said. “He has a lot to prove, not to anybody but to himself.”
Nichushkin will likely be slotted into the Top 6, which might be a lot to ask for right out of the gate. But Nichushkin has already been impressing Jim Montgomery and the coaching staff, and not just with his play:
Montgomery said... “My first meeting with him was really good, and it’s been really good since then. I’ve really liked how he’s come to the coaches when he maybe doesn’t understand exactly what we’re asking, or what the drill is. He’s being very mature, he’s being very proactive and it’s great to work with.”
You can read more in Matthew DeFranks piece here.
In case you couldn’t see it, here are some highlights from last Thursday’s preseason game against the Minnesota Wild:
Here’s what Montgomery has to say about the players’ performance in the preseason thus far:
Two preseason games in and Monty says he's starting to see the Stars play with more intensity and relentless pressure. pic.twitter.com/ys7zae6QSv— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) September 21, 2018
No Miro Heiskanen tonight (unfortunately), but at least you’ll be able to see some more Julius Honka:
For lineup in Tulsa tomorrow. Top line will be Benn-Faksa-Radulov. Bayreuther and Honka only two players that will be making 3rd straight appearance. Bow and Point will split game in goal— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) September 21, 2018
Another cut from the roster has been made:
The Dallas Stars have returned defenseman Jakob Stenqvist to his team in Sweden.— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) September 21, 2018
Speaking of recent cuts, Jason Robertson is already proving he doesn’t belong in the CHL anymore:
Stars prospect Jason Robertson notched a hat trick tonight in his second game of the season with Kingston of the Ontario Hockey League.— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) September 22, 2018
Radek Faksa regularly faced off against some of the top players in the league last year, and now teams know who he is:
'No one wants to play against him': Faksa's reputation growing with Stars https://t.co/mhdjyvuVSi via @NHL— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) September 21, 2018
Around the League
Greg Wyshnyski discusses in his Weekly Reader the greatest hockey controversy since Brett Hull’s foot in the crease: Fortnite. [ESPN]
DownGoesBrown also discusses Fortnite and much more in the first Grab Bag of the 2018-19 season: [The Athletic]
Go ahead and circle your calendars, everyone:
Ekblad on Domi sucker punch: ‘Scores will get settled’ https://t.co/MiJIrCgbxz— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) September 21, 2018
Jason Spezza makes Jared Clinton’s list of potential bounce-back candidates this season: [The Hockey News]
This is a really interesting read, and proves that sometimes, even objective analysis can sound a bit crazy:
After listening to a fascinating podcast from @Gladwell on the optimal time to pull a goalie, I presented the data he shared to NHL stars. Their response: https://t.co/j8ZjVX8izD— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) September 21, 2018
Ilya Kovalchuk opens up about his return to the NHL, winning the Olympic Gold for “Russia,” and more: [ESPN]
Because I like watching the comment section burn:
Marek said he heard the Stars offered Hintz, Shore, Honka, and picks to Ottawa which was better than the SJ offer. pic.twitter.com/WsilLdvO39— Bob Sturm (@SportsSturm) September 21, 2018