Kucherov, Nikita

NA Juniors Game Night: 10-6-12

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 1 @ Gatineau Olympiques 2

C Cedric Paquette, BLB: 0-0-0, -1, 4 PIM (slashing, roughing), 4 SOG, 3 Hits
Season totals: 8 GP, 4-4-8, +7, 14 PIM

Paquette had his two game multi-point streak come to an end. He led the team in hits on Saturday against Gatineau. The Armada outshot the Olympiques 32-21, including 16-5 in the first period. They also had a 1-0 lead half-way through the final stanza before Gatineau took over.

Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 5 @ Val-d’Or Foreurs 3

D Artem Sergeev, VDO: 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM (interference), 2 SOG, 0 Hits
Season totals: 6 GP, 1-2-3, -1, 4 PIM

Alexandre Lavoie (undrafted) had two goals and a couple helpers to pace the Eagles.

Note: Nikita Kucherov (Quebec) remains out with a shoulder injury.

Ontario Hockey League

Guelph Storm 3 @ Owen Sound Attack 4 (SO)

C/W Tanner Richard, GUE: 0-1-1, -1, 2 PIM (roughing)
Season totals: 7 GP, 1-8-9, +2, 12 PIM
D Jake Dotchin, OS: 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM (high sticking)
Season totals: 7 GP, 0-2-2, -1, 8 PIM

Guelph completed their third game in three nights, losing in a shootout to Owen Sound, 4-3. The Storm earned five of a possible six points in the three games. Richard (pictured) had five assists in the stretch. Owen Sound leads the Midwest Division with 11 points to Guelph’s nine.

Peterborough Petes 3 @ Barrie Colts 4

D Slater Koekkoek, PBO: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Season totals: 6 GP, 0-2-2, -5, 6 PIM

A day after Petes captain Koekkoek spoke called his team out for their recent play, Peterborough put forth a better effort, but came up short in Barrie. The Petes had been outscored 14-3 in their last three games, all losses.

NA Juniors Game Night: 9-30-12

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Val-d’Or Foreurs 2 @ Quebec Remparts 4

D Artem Sergeev, VDO: 0-0-0, +1, 2 PIM (high sticking), 1 SOG, 0 Hits
Season totals: 4 GP, 1-2-3, +2, 2 PIM

The Foreurs held a 2-1 lead entering the third period, but Sergeev and company couldn’t upset the CHL’s No.1 ranked team, Quebec. The Remparts, who remain without Lightning prospect Nikita Kucherov who is rehabbing a shoulder injury, got three assists from Kucherov’s good friend, Mikhail Grigorenko. The Lightning passed on Grigorenko at the June draft. The Sabres took him two picks after the Lightning’s selection of of a much-needed defensive prospect, Slater Koekkoek, at 10th overall. Grigorenko has 11 points in four games so far this year.

Ontario Hockey League

Brampton Battalion 4 @ Oshawa Generals 7

D Dylan Blujus, BRAM: 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM (roughing)
Season totals: 4 GP, 0-1-1, -2, 4 PIM

Blujus’ scoreless streak reached three games as the Battalion fell in Oshawa, 7-4. Boone Jenner (Blue Jackets), Lucas Lessio (Coyotes), and Tyler Biggs (Leafs) all had two goals a piece for the Gens. Biggs was a teammate of Lightning prospect Jimmy Mullin last year at Miami (Ohio) University.

Guelph Storm 4 @ London Knights 1

C/W Tanner Richard, GUE: 1-1-2, +4, 4 PIM (unsportsmanlike conduct, interference)
Season totals: 4 GP, 1-3-4, +2, 8 PIM

Tanner Richard (pictured) scored his first goal of the year and added an assist to help Guelph avenge an 8-2 loss to London a week ago with a 4-1 win Sunday. Richard’s plus-4 rating was a career high. He had a plus-3 game last November against Oshawa.

NA Juniors Game Night: 9-29-12

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 5 @ Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 4 (SO)

C Cedric Paquette, BLB: 0-0-0, +2, 4 PIM (tripping, tripping), 5 SOG, 0 Hits
Season totals: 5 GP, 2-2-4, +4, 10 PIM

Serving as the seventh shooter in the extra-extra session, Paquette failed to convert his shootout attempt and the Armada lost a point to the Huskies at home. After four games, Paquette leads his club in shots, faceoffs, and faceoffs won. He is second in penalty minutes by one.

Val-d’Or Foreurs 3 @ Drummondville Voltigeurs 4

D Artem Sergeev, VDO: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG, 2 Hits
Season totals: 3 GP, 1-2-3, +1, 0 PIM

Sergeev earned his second assist of the season in the Foreurs’ first road game of the year. He also tied for the team lead in hits on Saturday night. The Volts scored four times on the power play, including once on a 5 on 3.

Note: Nikita Kucherov (Quebec) remains out with a shoulder injury.

Ontario Hockey League

Sarnia Sting 2 @ Owen Sound Attack 1

D Jake Dotchin, OS: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 5 GP, 0-2-2, E, 6 PIM

Playing their third game in three nights, the Attack fell at home to Sarnia despite holding a 1-0 lead after one period. Owen Sounds went 1-1-0-1 this week and remain in first in the Midwest Division, one point ahead of Kitchener. The Attack has 17 more penalty minutes than any other team in the league. Dotchin hasn’t registered a point since accumulating two assists in the season opener.

NA Juniors Game Night: 9-21-12

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 5 @ Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 3

C Cedric Paquette, BLB: 1-1-2, +2, 0 PIM, 5 SOG, 2 Hits

A 31-goal scorer last year, Paquette had a goal and an assist in the third period to help the Armada to a 5-3 road win. The Armada was down 2-1 entering the third period. Paquette’s goal turned out to be the game winner. An alternate captain for the team, Paquette was 17 of 28 on faceoffs and centered the Armada’s top line.

Victoriaville Tigres 3 @ Val-d’Or Foreurs 4 (SO)

D Artem Sergeev, VDO: 1-1-2, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 2 Hits

Sergeev’s first goal of the year came on the power play and gave Val-d’Or a brief 3-1 lead. He did not participate in the shootout, won by the Foreurs 1-0. Look for a breakout year from Sergeev (pictured) this season.

Note: Nikita Kucherov (Quebec) remains out with a shoulder injury.

Ontario Hockey League

Niagara IceDogs 2 @ Brampton Battalion 1 (SO)

D Dylan Blujus, BRAM: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM

Blujus earned his first point of the season when he had an assist on Brampton’s only goal, scored on a 5-on-3 power play. He had spent the first half of the double man advantage as the triggerman for the Battalion. Blujus did not participate in the shootout. Listening to the radio broadcast, Blujus seemed to never leave the ice.

Saginaw Spirit 3 @ Guelph Storm 4 (OT)

C/W Tanner Richard, GUE: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM

Richard had an assist on Andrey Pedan’s (Islanders) power play goal in overtime as Guelph came back from a 3-1 deficit to win their season opener. Leafs second rounder and Guelph captain Matt Finn had three assists for the Storm.

Bolts Sign Prospect Kucherov

(Tampa Bay Lightning press release) The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed right wing Nikita Kucherov to a three-year, entry-level contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Kucherov, 5-foot-11, 174 pounds, is currently playing with the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League after he was taken in the 2012 CHL Import Draft.  He has yet to appear in a game with the Remparts due to off-season shoulder surgery that also kept him off the ice for the Lightning’s 2012 Development Camp. 
A native of Moscow, Russia, Kucherov played in 18 games with CSKA Moscow of the KHL last season, recording a goal and five points.  He also played in 23 games with CSKA’s junior team (MHL), registering 24 goals and 43 points.  Kucherov also represented his native Russia at the 2012 World Junior Championships, recording two goals and seven points.  He ranked fourth on the team for points and assists (5).  Kucherov was also named the best forward at the 2011 U-18 World Championships after leading the tournament with 11 goals and 21 points in seven games.
He was selected by Tampa Bay in the second round, 58th overall, of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Kucherov Coming to Quebec

Tampa Bay Lightning 2011 second round pick Nikita Kucherov confirmed via Twitter (@Kucher86) this morning where he’s going to play next season: “Quebec Remparts !!!”

Remparts Coach/General Manager Patrick Roy drafted Kucherov with the 43rd pick in the 2012 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft as either a playmate or replacement for Sabres first round pick Mikhail Grigorenko. Kucherov and Grigorenko are good friends and played on the same line together with Russia’s U-20 side last year in the World Junior Championships. The third member of that line, Sergei Gusev, is a Lightning draft pick who will remain with CSKA in Russia.

As a winger for CSKA’s junior club last year with Gusev, Kucherov had 24 goals and 43 points in just 23 games. He had three goals and four points in seven playoff games before a shoulder injury knocked him out of action. That same shoulder kept him from participating in the Lightning’s prospect development camp in early July, though he’s expected to be ready for the start of the QMJHL season in September.

A dynamic offensive weapon, Kucherov is expected to put up big numbers in the Q this year, especially if Grigorenko is at his side. Last year Grigorenko had 40 goals and 85 points in 59 games for Quebec.

Russian Prospects Taken in Import Draft

Lightning prospect followers expected one high profile Tampa Bay draftee to be selected in today's Canadian Hockey League Import Draft, but not two.

Andrei Vasilevski, the Lightning's second first round selection (19th overall) in last week's NHL Entry Draft, is reportedly trying to buy out his contract with Ufa of the KHL to play Canadian junior hockey. As of early Wednesday morning, the Lightning said there was no news regarding Vasilevski, and after several teams took goaltenders in the first round, it appeared his situation with Ufa was far from settled.

While the Valisevski watch was in full effect, Nikita Kucherov, last year's second round pick out of CSKA in Russia, was taken by Patrick Roy's Quebec Remparts. The Remparts may lose former Kucherov linemate and Sabres 2012 first round pick Mikhail Grigorenko to the NHL next year and Kucherov would provide instant offense for Roy's roster. There is also a possibility they are reunited in Quebec City. Roy said Tuesday that the Sabres were non-committal to Grigorenko's immediate NHL future, so it is still possible he could return to Quebec.

Kucherov spent most of last year with CSKA's junior team, where he racked up 24 goals and 41 points in just 23 games. He also had seven points in seven games at the World Junior Championships. He was able to get in 18 games at the professional level with CSKA's KHL side, but only managed a goal and five points in limited action. His selection was surprising to many prospect followers as Kucherov is expected to challenge for more games in the KHL this year. However, initial reports on Twitter from a sports.ru reporter said Kucherov was coming to North America. Roy, who has to secure Kucherov's release from CSKA, is already talking about where Kucherov could fit in his lineup.

Should Kucherov join the wide-open QMJHL, he could very well top 120 points next season.

Quebec chose Kucherov with the 43rd pick in the Import Draft, near the bottom of the first of the two round draft.

Vasilevski ended up a second round selection as the newly-renamed Mississauga Steelheads took him with pick number 69.

Mississauga lost last year's No.1 goalie and Vasilevski could make his path to the NHL a lot clearer by joining the Steelheads in the Ontario Hockey League. It's worth a shot for Mississauga, who is no doubt hoping the off-the-ice situation can be settled shortly.

Bolt Prospects 2012 NHL Entry Draft Coverage: Forwards

The strength of the Lightning organization remains at the forward positions, where the team still boasts an impressive mix of star veterans like Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier, and Ryan Malone, and the game's best young star, Steven Stamkos. The team will spend some of its offseason tweaking its third line, and they made overtures to Swiss star Damien Brunner to try to improve their scoring depth on the wings. But, ultimately, the team should feel pretty solid offensively. Keeping the puck out of the back of their own net has always been the bigger challenge.

MHL Game Day: 4-26-12

MHL Finals (Russia Jr.):
Omsk Jr. beat CSKA Jr. 3-1 in Game Five to clinch their MHL Finals series 4 games to 1. Omsk Jr. unseats CSKA Jr. as the champions of the Russian junior league. Nikita Kucherov did not play in the match. The game concludes the Lightning European prospect season.

MHL Game Day: 4-24-12

MHL Finals (Russia Jr.):
Maxim Kazakov's goal at 1:39 of overtime lifted Omsk Jr. to a 2-1 Game Four win over CSKA Jr. and delivered to them the MHL championship. The MHL Finals are the lone best-of-seven series in the tournament, so CSKA Jr. faces elimination in Game Five on Thursday. Nikita Kucherov did not appear in the match.

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