Today, the Dallas Stars selected Russian winger Valeri Nichushkin at number 10 overall. This comes as a stretch pick, as you can see in our draft preview. We did not see the Stars selecting Nichushkin because our guess was it would've been quite pricey to trade UP to get him. Well to everyone's surprised, he fell to tenth in the draft. This is arguably best case scenario at #10 and very exciting for the Stars.
The 6'4 205 pound power forward is likely NHL ready and we could see him in Dallas as soon as October (when's the last time we could say that?). He plays a game like Rick Nash and has even been compared to Alex Ovechkin at times. There is a lot of upside to a pick like this and results could be instant. We will have more on Nichushkin as we get information from Tony in New Jersey.
"I can do it all." That was Valeri's response when asked about his game after being drafted by the Dallas Stars. His broken English prompted the use of a translator, but he said he will be coming straight to Dallas from New York, so he will be speaking English (Texan) fluently in no time.
Nichushkin is confident (as are we) that he can play in Dallas this upcoming season. He is a large physical presence and is one of the most talented players coming into this draft. Nichushkin's experience in the World Juniors has boosted his confidence coming into the NHL. When asked if disappointed that he fell this far in the draft, he expressed his excitement of being drafted by Dallas, citing it is the 4th largest city in the US, the home of superstar and Dallas icon, Mike Modano, and home of the future Stanley Cup contenders. I like his attitude.