Kucherov, Nikita

Lightning Prospect WJC Review

The Lightning had five prospects at the 2013 Under-20 World Junior Championships in Ufa, Russia, and four came away with medals.

Here’s a look how each prospect fared, and what their future might look like.

Nikita Kucherov, RW, Russia
7 Games Played, 5-3-8, +4, 4 PIM, 21 SOG

While Kucherov may only remember his missed shootout attempt against Sweden in the semifinals right now, years from now will look at his Bronze medal and be satisfied with his play throughout the competition. Kucherov was arguably Russia’s best forward in the tournament, though Mikhail Grigorenko (Sabres) was the only forward named among the team’s three best by the coaches at tournament’s end. In the opinion of TSN commentator Ray Ferraro, Kucherov was the team’s best forward. He and Grigorenko were by far the most consistent and dangerous forwards for the Russians at the event, and the two were responsible for 14 points together.

U20 World Junior Championships Game Day: Day Nine 1-3-13

Sweden 3 vs. Russia 2 (SO)
Nikita Kucherov, Russia, 0-1-1, +1, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament totals: 6 GP, 5-3-8, +5, 4 PIM

Nikita Nesterov, Russia, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament totals: 6 GP, 0-3-3, +2, 2 PIM

Artem Sergeev, Russia, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament totals: 6 GP, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM

Andrey Vasilevskiy, Russia, Shootout Loss, 38/41, 2.77 GAA, .927 sv%
Tournament totals: 4 GP, 3-0-1, 1 SO, 1.81 GAA, .950 sv%

Sweden's Sebastien Collberg scored the only goal of the penalty shot session to stamp his team's ticket to the Gold Medal Match in a 3-2 win over Russia. Russian goaltender Andrey Vasilevskiy stopped 2 of 3 in the shootout for the shootout loss. Forward Nikita Kucherov assisted on Mikhail Grigorenko's goal in the Third Period to help force Overtime, but was stopped on Russia's last shootout attempt. Russia plays Canada on Saturday in the Bronze Medal Match after Team USA upended the Canadians 5-1 in the day's other Semifinal.

Kucherov currently sits tied for 4th in the tournament in scoring.

U20 World Junior Championships Game Day: Day Six 12-31-12

Switzerland 3 vs. Czech Republic 4 (OT)
Tanner Richard, Switzerland, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament totals: 4 GP, 0-4-4, +1, 2 PIM

Tomas Hertl's overtime goal lifted Czech Republic to a 4-3 win over Switzerland in their final game of the Round Robin. Switzerland overcame a 2 goal Third Period deficit to force extra time, but took their third after-regulation loss of the tournament. The Swiss finished in third place in Pool A after the Finns lost to Sweden today. They draw Russia on Wednesday in the opener of the Playoff Round.

Russia 1 vs. Canada 4
Nikita Kucherov, Russia, 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Tournament totals: 4 GP, 3-1-4, +3, 2 PIM

Nikita Nesterov, Russia, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament totals: 4 GP, 0-2-2, +2, 0 PIM

Artem Sergeev, Russia, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Tournament totals: 4 GP, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM

Andrey Vasilevskiy, Russia, DNP
Tournament totals: 2 GP, 2-0-0, 1 SO, 0.96 GAA, .973 sv%

Nikita Kucherov scored Russia's only goal in their 4-1 loss to Canada. Defenseman Nikita Nesterov was named Russia's best player in the defeat. Andrey Vasilevskiy sat backup to Andrei Makarov, who made 44 saved for the Russians. Russia finished in second in Pool B. They face the Swiss Wednesday in the Playoff Round.

U20 World Junior Championships Game Day: Day Four 12-29-29

Germany 0 vs. Russia 7
Nikita Kucherov, Russia, 1-1-2, +1, 0 PIM, 5 SOG
Tournament totals: 3 GP, 2-1-3, 2 PIM, +2, 0 PIM

Nikita Nesterov, Russia, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Tournament totals: 3 GP, 0-2-2, +2, 0 PIM

Artem Sergeev, Russia, 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Tournament totals: 3 GP, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM

Andrey Vasilevskiy, Russia, Win, SO, 41/41, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 sv%
Tournament totals: 2 GP, 2-0-0, 1 SO, 0.96 GAA, .973 sv%

Andrey Vasilevskiy turned away 41 shots in a 7-0 blanking of Germany. Forward Nikita Kucherov chipped in the game opening goal and a power play helper in the winning effort. Russia will finish up their Round Robin on Monday against Canada in a game that will determine the winner of Pool B.

U20 World Junior Championships Game Day: Day Three 12-28-12

Sweden 3 vs. Switzerland 2 (SO)
Tanner Richard, Switzerland, 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament totals: 2 GP, 0-3-3, +1, 2 PIM

Victor Rask's shootout tally lifted Sweden to a 3-2 shootout victory over Switzerland. Switzerland took Sweden to the brink, and held a lead into the Third Period on Mike Kunzle's third goal of the tournament, but they could not hold off the defending Gold Medalists. Tanner Richard was scoreless in the match and took a minor for high sticking that turned into Sweden's opening goal of the game. He was also 50% on draws. The Swiss now sit in 2nd place on the Group A table with games against Finland and Czech Republic yet to go. They face the Finns next on Sunday.

Russia 2 vs. USA 1
Nikita Kucherov, Russia, 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 3 SOG
Tournament totals: 2 GP, 1-0-1, +1, 2 PIM

Nikita Nesterov, Russia, 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Tournament totals: 2 GP, 0-2-2, +2, 0 PIM

Artem Sergeev, Russia, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Tournament totals: 2 GP, 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM

Andrey Vasilevskiy, Russia, DNP
Tournament totals: 1 GP, 1-0-0, 0 SO, 1.85 GAA. .941 sv%

Artem Sergeev (pictured) assisted on Viktor Tkachyov's goal early in the Third Period that gave Russia a critical 2-1 win over Team USA. Sergeev's helper means that all Lightning prospects have now found the scoresheet in Ufa, through the first two games of the Round Robin. Fellow Lightning prospect defenseman Nikita Nesterov also had a helper in the match, assisting an Albert Yarullin goal on the power play. Forward Nikita Kucherov took a holding minor in the match, and was in the box for Jacob Trouba's lone goal for the Americans. Andrey Vasilevskiy sat backup to undrafted Saskatoon netminder Andrei Makarov who turned away 41 shots for the win. Russia faces Germany next on Saturday and sits 2nd behind Canada on the Group B table.

U20 World Junior Championships Game Day: Day One 12-26-12

Slovakia 2 vs. Russia 3 (OT)
Nikita Kucherov, Russia, 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Tournament totals: 1 GP, 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM

Nikita Nesterov, Russia, 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament totals: 1 GP, 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM

Artem Sergeev, Russia, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Tournament totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM

Andrey Vasilevskiy, Russia, Win, 32/34, 1.85 GAA, .941 sv%
Tournament totals: 1 GP, 1-0-0, 0 SO, 1.85 GAA. .941 sv%

Nikita Nesterov assisted on Albert Yarullin's game winning goal 4:50 into overtime as Russia snuck past Slovakia 3-2. Nesterov has been named an assistant captain for Russia in the tournament. Slovakia forced overtime with a dramatic power play goal with 36 seconds left in regulation by Richard Mraz, but could not finish the comeback in the overtime session. Nikita Kucherov scored the game opening goal for Russia and was second on Team Russia in shots on goal with 4. Goaltender Andrey Vasilevskiy (pictured) was named Russia's player of the game after the match. Russia plays Team USA next on Friday.

Boxscore | Highlights

NA Juniors Game Night: 12-21-12

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 5 @ Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 4

C Cedric Paquette, BLB: 0-1-1, +1, 7 PIM, 5 SOG, 0 Hits
Season totals: 33 GP, 15-29-44, +18, 63 PIM

W Nikita Kucherov, R-N: Did not play.
Season totals: 13 GP, 9-13-22, +5, 2 PIM
With R-N: 7 GP, 6-6-12, +6, 0 PIM
With Quebec: 6 GP, 3-7-10, -1, 2 PIM

Cedric Paquette’s point streak rose to 10 games with an assist in a loss to Rouyn-Noranda. The Armada outshot the Huskies, 41-17, including 16-5 in the third period. The Huskies skated out to an early 5-1 lead and held on. The Armada cut the lead to one with 13 seconds left. Paquette fought Redgie Bois, who received an instigator penalty and a misconduct. Nikita Kucherov is in Russia playing for the home side in the World Junior Championships. He had a goal in a pre-competition game on Wednesday.

The Ontario Hockey League is on Christmas break. They will resume play on December 27.

NA Juniors Game Night: 12-15-12

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 3 @ Rouyn-Noranda 6

C Cedric Paquette, BLB: 0-1-1, E, 2 PIM, 2 SOG, 6 Hits
Season totals: 32 GP, 15-28-43, +17, 56 PIM

W Nikita Kucherov, R-N: Did not play.
Season totals: 13 GP, 9-13-22, +5, 2 PIM
With R-N: 7 GP, 6-6-12, +6, 0 PIM
With Quebec: 6 GP, 3-7-10, -1, 2 PIM

Cedric Paquette’s point streak rose to nine games with an assist in a loss to Rouyn-Noranda. Lightning prospect Nikita Kucherov was not in the lineup for the Huskies as he is in Russia preparing for the World Junior Championships. Paquette’s six hits were the most by any player on either team.

Ontario Hockey League

Brampton Battalion 1 @ Owen Sound Attack 4

D Dylan Blujus, BRAM: 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM
Season totals: 35 GP, 2-13-15, -10, 26 PIM

D Jake Dotchin, OS: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 32 GP, 2-8-10, +3, 35 PIM

Owen Sound scored the game’s final three goals to complete a 4-1 win over visiting Brampton. Both Lightning prospects, Dylan Blujus of Brampton and Jake Dotchin of Owen Sound, were scoreless in the game. Brampton remained seven points behind first place Barrie in the Central Division and Owen Sound stayed nine points behind London, who won their 20th straight game, in the Midwest Division.

TBL.com: Bolts prospect Nikita Kucherov adapting well to life in North America

By Peter Pupello, TampaBayLightning.com

Please excuse the United States’ neighbor to the north if the temperatures in Canada this time of year begin to feel a little bit warmer.

At least in and around the parts of Rouyn-Noranda, that is.

The city is home to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, whom since the arrival of Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Nikita Kucherov, have seemed to catch fire.

Since Kucherov joined the Huskies in a trade from the Quebec Remparts on November 21, the club has gone on to win seven of its previous nine games, including three straight.

Prior to the trade, Rouyn-Noranda had dropped five consecutive games, including two in a row by a score of 8-3. Kucherov, meanwhile, has elevated his game and has seemed to fit right in to his new surroundings as he emerges as a great talent at the Canadian junior level.

For the rest of this story, see TampaBayLightning.com.

Prospect of the Week: December 10, 2012

This week we continue our Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for their recent contributions on and off the ice.

This week’s winner said good-bye to his club team with a dramatic exit.

The Prospect of the Week for December 10 is … Nikita Kucherov, RW, Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL – Canada)

A lot is expected of Russia this month at the upcoming World Junior Championships. The city of Ufa, Russia, is hosting the tournament, and the Russians will not settle for anything less than a gold medal.

With the NHL mired in a lockout, a lot of attention will be on the tournament from North America, too, especially in hockey-rabid Canada.

It’s a big deal.

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