Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/09/13 at 09:59 AM ET
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
The fact Valeri Nichushkin is the first 18-year-old to play for the Stars since the franchise moved to Dallas in 1993 tells you he’s different.
The fact he’s the first Stars rookie to score four points in a game since Jere Lehtinen did it in 1996 tells you he’s gifted.
The fact teammates believe he’s only scratching the surface of his potential tells you he’s special. Maybe very special.
“Val’s play continues to grow. For me that’s really important,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said after Nichushkin had a goal and three assists in a 5-1 win over Philadelphia on Saturday. “He made a couple of really good plays on those goals, and physically, he’s been dominating some battles.”
Nichushkin learned the game on Russia’s bigger rinks and only started playing in North America this season. That might have been a factor in his being held to two points and a minus-3 in his first 12 games. Since then, he has 13 points and is plus-12 in the past 15 games.
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