- Personal Information:
- Full Name: Valeri Ivanovich Nichushkin
- Nicknames: Big Val, Nuke, the Chu Chu Train
- Date of Birth: March 4, 1995
- Age: 28 years
- Birthplace: Chelyabinsk, Russia
- Mother: Elena Nichushkina
- Father: Unknown
- Relationship Status: Married to Svetlana Lyuk, with two children
- Career Information:
- Current Team: Colorado Avalanche
- Position: Right wing
- Jersey Number: #13
- Former Teams:
- Traktor Chelyabinsk
- Dallas Stars
- CSKA Moscow
- NHL Draft:
- Year: 2013
- Round: 1
- Pick: 10
- Drafted by: Dallas Stars
- NHL Debut: October 3, 2013
- Experience: 9 Years
- Current Team: Colorado Avalanche
- Physical Details:
- Height: 1.93 m (6 feet 4 inches)
- Weight: 95 kg (210 pounds)
- Financial & Contractual Details:
- Duration: Eight years
- Total Value: $49,000,000
- Annual Salary: $6,125,000
- Net Worth: Approximately $8 million
- Other Details:
Valeri Nichushkin Stats
Valeri Nichushkin, wearing jersey #13, is a Right Wing for the Colorado Avalanche. He is in his fifth season with the Colorado Avalanche after spending four with the Dallas Stars.
Abridged Career Statistics:
- Team: Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche
- Games Played (GP): 237
- Average Minutes per Game (MIN): 15:20
- Goals (G): 0.27
- Assists (A): 0.35
- Points (PTS): 0.62
- Goals created per game (GC): 0.24
- Penalties in minutes per game (PIM): 0.16
- Shots (S): 2.34
- Adjusted goals: 70
- Adjusted assists: 130
- Adjusted points: 200
- Adjusted goals created: 74
- Total goals (G): 88
- Total assists (A): 134
- Total points (PTS): 222
- Plus/minus (+/-): 84
- Penalties in minutes (PIM): 60
- Even strength goals (EV): 64
- Power play goals (PPG): 19
- Short-handed goals (SHG): 5
- Game-winning goals (GVG): 17
- Even strength assists (EV): 119
- Power play assists (PP): 13
- Short-handed assists (SHA): 2
- Shooting percentage (SPCT): 9.9
- Total shots attempted (TSA): 1,475
- Time on ice (TOI): 7,050
- Average time on ice (ATOI): 15:20
- Faceoff wins (FOW): 6
- Faceoff losses (FOL): 19
- Faceoff win percentage (FO%): 24.0
- Blocks (BLK): 207
- Hits (HIT): 526
- Takeaways (TK): 217
- Giveaways (GV): 213
- Shots on goal (SOG): 892
Valeri Nichushkin 2023-24 Profile
Valeri Nichushkin — the 6 foot 4, 210 pound Right Wing for the Colorado Avalanche — is one of the top players for the Avs team that finished with the second-best regular season record in the Western Conference last season but failed to make it out of the first round of the Playoffs. Nichushkin was involved in a scandal that saw him missing the last five Playoff games, which did not sit well with the Avalanche fans.
He has come from a disappointing ending with the Dallas Stars to rejuvenating his career with the Avalanche. The Russian had a lot of problems with injuries early in his NHL career but has still managed to become a powerful skater with skills and scoring ability. His versatility on the ice was one of the key factors in Colorado’s Stanley Cup win in 2021.
Valeri Nichushkin General Information
Valeri Nichushkin was born on March 4, 1995, in Chelyabinsk, the seventh-largest city in Russia.
He was a talented player growing up and a member of the Russian national team since he was 15 years old. There was no question that he would end up in the NHL after showing huge potential while playing for Belye Medvedi Chelyabinsk as a youngster and later on for Traktor Chelyabinsk and CSKA Moscow.
He is married to Svetlana Lyuk, a model and a former gymnast who graduated from the International Academy of Business and Management. She currently works in the fashion industry and owns her own clothing company, Lavarice, which sells swimwear and lingerie.
In July 2021, the Colorado Avalanche signed Nichushkin to an eight-year contract extension worth $49 million, with an annual average value of $6.1 million.
Valeri Nichushkin wears jersey number 13.
Valeri Nichushkin Background
Nichushkin started his hockey career as a 16-year-old in Belye Medvedi Chelyabinsk, a team from his hometown. He played 38 games that season in the MHL, scoring 4 goals and recording 6 assists. In 2012, he made a total of 11 appearances for the Russian Under 16 and Under 17 national teams.
He split the 2012-13 season between Traktor Chelyabinsk, Chelmet Chelyabinsk, and Belye Medvedi Chelyabinsk, playing in three different leagues: KHL, VHL, and MHL. He had a total of 16 goals and 10 assists in 42 games that season. As an 18-year-old, he played both for the Russian Under 18 and Under 20 national teams.
Valeri Nichushkin’s NHL Career So Far
Nichushkin entered the NHL as the 10th overall pick at the 2013 NHL Draft. He had a solid rookie season, scoring 14 goals and recording 20 assists in 79 games for the Stars. He was expected to play even better in his sophomore season, but he suffered from hip and groin soreness at the beginning of the season and underwent surgery after only five games played. He missed almost the entire season and returned to action in the 2015-16 season.
Nichushkin had 9 goals and 20 assists in that campaign but was unhappy with his role on the Dallas team. He and the Stars failed to agree during the contract negotiations, and as his entry-level deal was done, he decided to go back to Russia and signed with CSKA Moscow.
After two seasons with the team from the Russian capital, Nichushkin returned to Dallas, signing a two-year, $5.9 million contract. He failed to score a single goal and had only 10 assists in 57 games for Dallas in the 2018-19 season. Dallas subsequently placed Nichushkin on unconditional waivers and bought out the final season of his deal.
Nichushkin considered going back to Russia again, but the Avalanche took a chance on him and signed him to a one-year, $850,000 contract in 2019.
In his first season in Colorado, Nichushkin had 13 goals and 14 assists in 65 games. He made 15 Playoff appearances, scoring one goal and two assists. More importantly, he led all forwards in the NHL in defensive goals above replacement. Such strong defensive play saw him finishing eighth in the voting for the Frank J. Selke Trophy, the award given to the best defensive forward in the NHL.
After such a performance, the Avalanche signed Nichushkin to a two-year, five-million deal. That trust was all he needed. Nichushkin erupted in the 2020-21 season, scoring a career-best 52 points in 62 games adding 15 points in 20 playoff games. He was one of the key role players on the Avalanche team that won the Stanley Cup for the first time in 21 years.
The following season did not start well for Nichushkin as he was involved in a doping scandal that dated back to a 2013 blood test. Luckily for him, all the charges were dropped, and he was cleared to play.
In the 2022 off-season, Nichushkin got what he was hoping for, and that was a long-term deal that will keep him in the NHL. The Avalanche inked him to an eight-year, $49 million deal.
Nichushkin responded well, having 17 goals and 30 assists in the 2022-23 season, but he got in trouble off the ice. During the first-round Playoff series against the Kraken, officers responded to a crisis call at the Four Seasons Hotel in Seattle. A 28-year-old woman was taken into a hospital after appearing heavily intoxicated. It ended up that she was a sexual worker and probably an illegal immigrant, and Nichushkin accompanied her.
The Avalanche stated that Nichushkin was out for the season for personal reasons, and he missed the last five games of the series that the Kraken won in seven games.
Valeri Nichushkin 2023-24 Season Forecast
Predicting how good of a season Nichushkin will have is very hard. There is no doubt that he is an elite talent, but injuries and his behavior are something that has cost him many troubles in the past. He will play with a chip on his shoulder after letting his team down in last year’s Playoffs.
The Avalanche’s coach, Jared Bednar, still counts on him, and it is Nichushkin’s turn to make things happen on the ice.
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