Regarded as one of the best players not playing in the NHL, Kucherov will lose that label tonight as the club’s 2011 second round pick will make his NHL debut against the Rangers.
Pure and simple, Kucherov is a point machine. He first got on the elite-scorers map when he shattered records at the 2011 U18 championships when he had 11 goals and 21 points in seven games. He followed that up with 24 goals and 43 points in just 23 MHL games in Russia, then had 29 goals and 63 points in 33 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League games last season. As a rookie in AHL Syracuse this year, Kucherov has 13 goals and 24 points in 16 games. He also had 15 points (7 goals) in 14 World Junior Championship games spread out over two tournaments.
Originally known primarily for his shot, Kucherov’s vision is the best to come from a Lightning draft since Brad Richards. He sees the ice exceptionally well and has the ability to make every pass needed. Add to that quick decision-making and he’s a power play weapon.
Kucherov has as good a one-time pass as we’ve seen in quite some time out of a Lightning prospect. This is because he can think the game faster than most players; his hockey sense is off the charts.
No. 19 Minnesota- Duluth Bulldogs 6 @ No. 1 Minnesota Golden Gophers 2
G Adam Wilcox, MIN: Loss, seven saves on 12 shots
Season totals: 11 GP, 8-2-1, 2.25 GAA, .924 sv%, 1 SO
2012-2013 totals: 39 GP, 25-8-5, 1.88 GAA, .921 sv%, 3 SO
Wilcox was pulled after giving up five goals on 12 shots against JT Brown’s alma mater. The Gophers are 9-2-1 this year.
*USCHO poll used
Ontario Hockey League
Barrie Colts 5 @ Oshawa Generals 3
D Jake Dotchin, BAR: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM
Season totals: 24 GP, 5-10-15, +16, 49 PIM
2012-13 totals: 66 GP, 4-18-22, E, 81 PIM
Mississauga Steelheads 5 @ Kingston Frontenacs 7
W Henri Ikonen, KGN: 2-2-4, +2, 0 PIM, *Second Star*
Season totals: 22 GP, 11-24-35, +11, 19 PIM
2012-13 totals: 61 GP, 22-29-51, +2, 30 PIM
Ikonen and his Fronts teammates had a big night, defeating the Steelheads, 7-5.
Plymouth Whalers 2 @ Windsor Spitfires 1
D Slater Koekkoek, WSR: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 23 GP, 6-14-20, +19, 10 PIM
2012-13 totals: 40 GP, 6-23-29, -24, 28 PIM
Khanty-Mansiysk 1 vs. Praha 4
Nikita Gusev, Khanty-Mansiysk, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 22 GP, 2-2-4, -5, 8 PIM
Nikita Gusev was scoreless in just 2:39 of ice time in Yugra's 4-1 loss to Praha. The young prospect has averaged just 7:56 of ice time a game since joining Yugra earlier this season. Ex-Sabre Jiri Novotny had 2 assists for Praha in their win.
Ekaterinurg 8 vs. Bratsialava 1
Jaroslav Janus, Bratislava, Loss, 20/28, 8.00 GAA, .714 sv%
Season totals: 18 GP, 7-9-2, 2 SO, 3.00 GAA, .885 sv%
Remember how Jaroslav Janus was closing in on getting his save percentage above .900 for the year? Yeah? Well, forget about that. The young netminder and his Slovan teammates were snowmanned today in an 8-1 defeat to Ekateriburg.
Donetsk 4 vs. Ufa 2
Andrey Vasilevskiy, Ufa, DNP
Season totals: 15 GP, 7-5-3, 0 SO, 2.39 GAA, .917 sv%
Andrey Vasilevskiy again sat backup to Alexei Volkov in Ufa's 4-2 loss to Donetsk. Donetsk, which is captained by former Lightning forward Ruslan Fedotenko, got a goal from ex-Panther Evgeny Dadonov in the win.
Dinamo Minsk 3 vs. Magnitogorsk 1
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Loss, 18/20, 2.05 GAA, .900 sv%
Season totals: 27 GP, 16-7-3, 4 SO, 2.02 GAA, .933 sv%
Minsk scored 3 unanswered goals to pin a rare loss on Vasily Koshechkin and Magnitogorsk. Ex-Ducks and Jackets farmhand Geoff Platt led the way with 1 goal and 1 assist for Minsk.
Florida Everblades 6 vs Orlando Solar Bears 0
FW Danick Gauthier, FLA: Did not play
Season totals: 6 GP, 3-3-6, +3, 15 SOG, 17 PIM
G Kristers Gudlevskis, FLA: W, 0.00 GAA, 22 S / 22 SA (1.000 SV%)
Season totals: 8 GP, 5-3-0, 1.64 GAA, 170 S / 183 SA (.929 SV%)
D Charles Landry, FLA: Did not play
Season totals: 6 GP, 0-1-1, +8, 5 SOG, 9 PIM
FW Maxime Langelier-Parent, FLA (AHL Contract): Did not play
Season totals: 2 GP, 1-0-1, +1, 5 SOG, 2 PIM
D Dan Milan, FLA: Did not play
Season totals: 3 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 4 SOG, 6 PIM
FW Carl Nielsen, FLA (AHL Contract): Did not play
Season totals: 12 GP, 1-3-4, +1, 11 SOG, 24 PIM
After dropping the first two contests of its weekend series with Orlando, Florida pulled off a lopsided Saturday night shutout victory in front of its home fans to reclaim first place in the South Division. Three of the Everblades six goals with with the man-advantage. The Solar Bears were unable to convert any of their five power play opportunities. Kristers Gudlevskis had a limited workload for the third-straight night but was able to turn aside all 22 Solar Bear shot attempts to earn his second shutout while manning the crease for the Everblades. Gudlevskis has now allowed two or fewer goals in all but one of his starts. Danick Gauthier, Charles Landry and Carl Neilsen remain with AHL Syracuse. Dan Milan and Maxime Langelier-Parent were scratched. Florida (11-4-2, 24 PTS) next has a few midweek road matches beginning with Kalamazoo (6-4-1, 13 PTS) on Wednesday.