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Name: Alexander NikulinPhoenix Coyotes (#122/2004 NHL Draft)

Rating: 81
Height: 185cm/6'1"
Weight: 88kg/193.6 lb
Position: Center
Shoots: Left
Born: 1985-08-25
Birthplace: Perm, Russia

Game Worn Jerseys:
2003-04 CSKA (Moscow) Away - Available
2002-03 CHL Team Russia Away - Available
RELATED ARTICLES:
Sergei Shirokov (Vancouver Canucks): a biography (08/22/2009)
Alexander Nikulin (Phoenix Coyotes): Dumping the puck is not for me. (05/24/2009)
July 2008 Wrapup - Russian Prospects Pay a Visit to NHL Clubs (08/09/2008)
Alexander Nikulin (Ottawa Senators): I want to play in the NHL, but am ready for the AHL (07/19/2007)
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PLAYER PHOTOS:

Player News
07/05/2009 Enver Lisin (Phoenix Coyotes) qualified, won't be an UFA

National Hockey League (NHL) -  On July 1st Enver Lisin (Phoenix Coyotes) offered a qualifying offer, thus allowing the Yotes to hold the rights on him. It's still not clear where the forward, who scored 21 points in 48 games, will play in the 2009-10 season. KHL's Atlant Mytischi is reported to have offered him a 2-year deal, but in spite of that most likely he'll continue his career in the NHL. Also Alexander Nikulin (Phoenix Coyotes) got a qualifying offer. Let's remember that the center signed for CSKA Moscow about one month ago.
05/24/2009 Alexander Nikulin (Phoenix Coyotes): Dumping the puck is not for me

National Hockey League (NHL) -  Most likely Alexander Nikulin (Phoenix Coyotes)’s return to the red army’s rows wasn’t unexpected for experts and fans. The center admitted to be very happy to be at home again. During this interview for CSKA’s press office he talked about pluses and minuses of his overseas experience and about his former line mates. (CSKA Press office interview translated by Alessandro Seren Rosso) READ MORE
05/20/2009 Alexander Nikulin (Phoenix Coyotes) returned in Russia

National Hockey League (NHL) -  "My contract ended and I decided to return back home. I don't want to sign a two-way contract and most likely they wouldn't offer me a one-way deal" - these the words of Alexander Nikulin (Phoenix Coyotes) after he signed a deal with CSKA Moscow. The young center played two seasons in America, mostly in the AHL farm teams of the Ottawa Senators and the Phoenix Coyotes. He did play in the NHL, but just three matches, without scoring a single point. READ MORE
02/04/2009 Alexander Nikulin (Ottawa Senators) called up by Phoenix and makes season debut
11/06/2008 Coyotes: Alexander Nikulin (Ottawa Senators) worth the risk
11/03/2008 Alexander Nikulin (Ottawa Senators) gets his wish and one more NHL chance with the Coyotes
09/22/2008 Alexander Nikulin (Ottawa Senators) and Ilya Zubov (Ottawa Senators) assigned to Binghamton
09/15/2008 Ilya Zubov (Ottawa Senators) hopes future is now
08/09/2008 July 2008 Wrapup - Russian Prospects Pay a Visit to NHL Clubs
06/28/2008 Ruslan Bashkirov skating at Senators’ Development Camp
04/12/2008 Alexander Nikulin caled up to Ottawa Senators - may play in Game 3 or 4
04/07/2008 Alexander Nikulin and Ilya Zubov first to be called up
10/01/2007 New photos added to multiple player profiles
09/27/2007 Alexander Nikulin (Ottawa Senators) and Ilya Zubov (Ottawa Senators) vying for Ottawa roster spots
09/20/2007 Russian prospects Sergei Zubov and Alexander Nikulin (Ottawa Senators) impress Senators
08/03/2007 Rumor Central: Ilya Zubov (Ottawa Senators) on his way to Ottawa
07/21/2007 2 additional scouting reports added to Alexander Nikulin (Ottawa Senators)'s profile
07/19/2007 Alexander Nikulin (Ottawa Senators): I want to play in the NHL, but am ready for the AHL
05/29/2007 Alexander Nikulin (Ottawa Senators) signs with Ottawa
03/18/2007 No surprises thus far, but upsets may be in the works for quarterfinals
03/12/2007 Playoffs - Round 16 - Alexey Cherepanov scores for HC Avangard
02/28/2007 Web Site News: Alexander Nikulin (Ottawa Senators)'s game worn HC CSKA jersey added
02/17/2007 Round 50
10/20/2006 Round 18 - HC Khimik - HC Ak Bars Detailed Game Recap
09/13/2006 Exlusive: Scouting Report - Energized CSKA Red Army club lead by youth
05/14/2006 Alexander Nikulin (Ottawa Senators), Konstantin Barulin (St. Louis Blues) leave Latvia
03/25/2006 Playoff Quarterfinals #2: Yushkevich nets a hattrick!
11/08/2005 Alexander Nikulin (Ottawa Senators) called up to national team
12/05/2004 Web Site News: Alexander Nikulin's (Ottawa Senators#122/2004) profile has been made available to everyone!
11/20/2004 Round 27 Game Notes
10/20/2004 Premium Content: Performance Reports for Dmitri Chernykh (New York Islanders #48/2001), Denis Ezhov (Buffalo Sabres #114/2003), and Alexander Nikulin (Ottawa Senators #122/2003).
10/20/2004 Super League Tour 18: Molot-Prikame (Perm)
10/15/2004 Alexander Nikulin (Ottawa Senators #122/2004) gets a chance to play with the big boys
03/25/2004 Two 2004 NHL Entry Draft prospects earn first invitations to Russia’s U20 squad
03/24/2004 1st League Quarterfinals Game 2: Severstal 2 vs. CSKA 2 - Alexander Nikulin 1st start for CSKA 2 (game box score and prospect notes)
03/04/2004 Web Site News: Performance grades for Alexander Nikulin (2004 NHL Entry Draft) added
02/29/2004 Web Site News: Alexander Nikulin's (2004 NHL Entry Draft) profile added to Premium Draft Coverage
01/26/2004 Alexander Nikulin breaks hand, out until the second week of February
Scouting Evaluations:
Super League Round 18 - HC Khimik - HC Ak Bars Detailed Game Recap
Semifinals - Russia vs. USA Detailed Game Notes: Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh Penguins) Carries Russia Forward
U20 WJC: Russia - Switzerland Player Game Notes - Lisin's (Phoenix) best game thus far
U20 WJC: Russia - Belarus Player Game Notes - Ovechkin (Washington) scores twice
Russia vs. Czech Republic Detailed Game Notes: Malkin shines, Shirokov scores
Russia vs. USA Detailed Game Notes: Belov and Megalinsky - Russia's top performing defensive pairing
Draft Rankings and Comments:
2004 NHL ENTRY DRAFT
Rank 1: #6
Rank 2: #9
Rank 3: #7
Rank 4: #11
Talent Analysis:
Skating: A technically sound skater...needs to work on his top speed and acceleration...his pickup speed is average, while his top speed is slightly above average...very maneuverable and can quickly change direction. Shot: Possesses a good, precise wrist shot, with a quick release...doesn’t have a very effective slapshot. Technical Ability: One of his strengths...possesses soft hands and handles the puck well...always cognizant of where the puck is, even while in heavy traffic. Pass: Another one of his strengths...makes precise, soft passes...can make a great first pass out of the zone... creates scoring chances for his linemates. Hockey Sense: A smart playmaker who sees the ice very well...creates solid scoring chances for his linemates. Defensive Play: Responsible defensibly...skates well backwards and is usually one of the first players to return to his own zone...has become bigger in the recent years and plays very smart defensively, anticipating opponent’s moves...very effective at poke checking the puck away from an opponent...has started to use his body a lot more. Physical Play: Has really improved in this area and as his body developed, he became a significantly more aggresive player on the ice...does not avoid traffic and will take a hit...difficult to knock off the puck...possesses a good work ethic, fights hard along the boards and has become much better at this.
2004-05 U20 Team Russia scouting comments: a good skater with solid agility and adequate acceleration...decent balance...could use a faster extra gear...blessed with soft hands and crafty puckhandling skills...more of a playmaker than a scorer...knows how to use his linemates and times his passes precisely...a quick wrist shot with a strong accuracy...slap shot needs to be more accurate...is willing to return back to his own end, but still has to improve defensively...doesn't show a nasty edge in his play and has to upgrade on aggresivness...the undrafted Russian forward captured the 'Top forward' honors for his willingness to contribute at both ends of the ice.
2006-07 Playoffs Analysis (with HC CSKA): high top speed…sees the ice very well…excellent control of the puck…needs to improve his take off speed and acceleration…has all the skill, but needs to play more aggressively in his own end of the ice…very hard to stop when rushing the offensive zone with the puck – an impressive puckhandler and can go around a couple of defenders just on skill…mostly solid defensively, but at times doesn’t effectively positionally compensate for a defenseman out of position near the net…has filled out his frame and plays well in traffic…hard to stop when cutting into the offensive zone…uses his linemates well
Back In Russia:
2006-07: Nikulin started the 2006-07 season quite strongly, and was slated to be a consistent force on Russia’s national team. Unfortunately, he suffered an injury early into the season, missing almost two months of ice time. As a result he lost some shape and struggled to get back into the same conditioning he enjoyed early in the season. He still finished the season quite respectably, but was left off the national team roster despite playing for its head coach. Clearly, he was not yet fully recovered by April despite already playing for over a month since recovering. During the summer the young forward signed a deal with the Ottawa Senators and has crossed the ocean. 2005-06: Nikulin finally broke out during the 2005-06 NHL lockout year, when it seemed he would be drowned among NHL signings of the likes of Nikolai Zherdev and Oleg Saprykin. The young forward centered Super League’s most dynamic young line between Denis Parshin and Sergei Shirokov. He consistently skated on CSKA’s second line and enjoyed the most productive season of his career (10G+10A in 51 games). Beyond the points, it was his physical development and aggressiveness in every zone of the ice that have lead to Nikulin to receive his first call up to Russia’s senior national team. He ended up skating in two EuroTour tournaments, but the message was clear that the 21 year old Nikulin is now considered one of the top centers in Russia. 2004-05: During the 2004-05 season, Alexander Nikulin finally made his Super League debut with HC CSKA. The young forward some shifts down the stretch of another season that went nowhere for the struggling CSKA club. He was one of the few young players who started to assert themselves, with others being Vladimir Zharkov and Denis Parshin. Nikulin’s improvements did not go unnoticed and he skated in his final U20 World Championships, getting consistent minutes on the third line, which was interestingly comprised of two centers with him and Grigory Shafigulin. Overall, this was a solid building block in Nikulin’s career and a step in the right direction. 2003-04: Prior to the 2003-04 season, Nikulin signed a contract with CSKA Moscow and moved to Russia’s capital. The young prospect spent the preseason with CSKA’s main lineup, but was unable to earn a spot and ended up being sent down to CSKA 2. Thus far, he has spent the majority of the season with CSKA 2, centering the junior club’s second line. Beyond his production, Nikulin has contributed with his leadership skills off and on the ice. After the squad’s captain, Anton Dubinin, was called up, Nikulin took over the captaincy of CSKA 2. He temporarily relinquished the title after suffering a broken wrist that kept him out of the lineup for a month between mid January and February, but then took it right back after his return. While not a usual member of Russia’s U20 squad, Nikulin did join the team for the Canada Cup Challenge. The evaluation of his performance at the November tournament will be added to his profile shortly.
NHL Outlook:
Alexander Nikulin was eligible for the 2004 NHL Entry Draft and was selected 122nd overall by the Ottawa Senators, just a few picks beyond where RussianProspects.com projected him to be drafted (we projected him to be selected midway through the fourth round). The young forward has the skills, hockey sense, and offensive upside to become a secondary power play specialist in the NHL and a sturdy second or third line center. He has also gained physical strength to perform quite well in traffic, changing an early image of him as being soft, though sturdy player.
Statistics:
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM +/-
2006-07 CSKA (Moscow) Super League (Reg.)32 5 11 16 10 4
2006-07 Team Russia Ceska Poistovna (Euro Tour) (Intl.)3 0 1 1 2 -
2005-06 Team Russia Sweden Games (EuroTour) (Intl.)3 0 1 1 0 -
2005-06 CSKA (Moscow) Super League (Playoffs)7 1 0 1 2 -2
2005-06 Team Russia Karjala Cup (EuroTour) (Intl.)2 0 0 0 2 0
2005-06 CSKA (Moscow) Super League (Reg.)51 10 12 22 22 4
2004-05 CSKA (Moscow) 2 1st League (Reg.)5 1 1 2 0 -
2004-05 U20 Team Russia U20 WJC (Intl.)6 1 0 1 2 +1
2004-05 U20 Team Russia 4 Nations Tourn. (Intl.)3 2 1 3 16 0
2004-05 CSKA (Moscow) Super League (Reg.)16 3 3 6 6 +2
2003-04 CSKA-2 1st League (Juniors)34 17 17 34 30 -
2003-04 Team Russia '84 Canada Challenge (Intl.)5 0 0 0 2 -3
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