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Name: Ilya NikulinAtlanta Thrashers (#31/2000 NHL Draft)

Rating: 83
Height: 192cm/6'4"
Weight: 94kg/206.8 lb
Position: Defenseman
Shoots: Left
Born: 1982-03-28
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

Game Worn Jerseys:
1999-00 Dynamo (Moscow) Home - Available
2004-05 Dynamo (Moscow) Home - Available
2002-03 Dynamo (Moscow) Away - Available
2002-03 Dynamo (Moscow) Away - Available
2005-06 Team Russia (EuroTour) Away - Available
2002-03 Dynamo Moscow Home - Sold
2003-04 Dynamo (Moscow) Away - Sold
Lada Togliatti beats Ak Bars in Kazan (02/19/2009)
KHL January 13th: Dinamo Moscow edges Ak Bars Kazan in close game (01/18/2009)
Ilya Nikulin (Atlanta Thrashers): I really wanted to go to Atlanta (08/14/2008)
Ilya Nikulin: NHL is my Childhood Dream (07/11/2008)
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Player News
02/04/2009 Russia roster for LG Hockey Games in Sweden (Euro Tour)

LG Sweden Games - 

Goaltenders: 84. Konstantin Barulin (St. Louis Blues) (CSKA, Moscow), 30. Alexander Eremenko (Salavat Ufa)
Defense: 3. Vitaly Vishnevski (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl), 5. Ilya Nikulin (Atlanta Thrashers) (Ak Bars Kazan), Alexei Zhitnik (Dynamo Moscow), 7. Alexander Guskov (Columbus Blue Jackets) (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl), 22. Konstantin Korneev (Montreal Canadiens) (CSKA Moscow), 28. Denis Kulyash (Nashville Predators) (CSKA Moscow), 63. Maxim Kondratiev (Anaheim Mighty Ducks) (CSKA Moscow), 74. Alexei Emelin (Montreal Canadiens) (Ak Bars Kazan).
Forwards: 8. Alexei Mikhnov (Edmonton Oilers) (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl), 9. Alexander Suglobov (CSKA Moscow), 10. Oleg Kvasha (Traktor Chelyabinsk), 13. Ivan Nepryaev (Dynamo Moscow), Alexei Badyukov (Ak Bars Kazan), 23. Andrei Taratukhin (Calgary Flames) (Salavat Yulaev Ufa), 24. Petr Schastlivy (Phoenix Coyotes) (CSKA Moscow), 27. Dmitri Afanasenkov (Dynamo Moscow), 37. Alexander Perezhogin (Montreal Canadiens) (Salavat Yulaev Ufa), 47. Alexander Radulov (Nashville Predators) (Salavat Yulaev Ufa), 39. Maxim Rybin (Spartak Moscow), 91. Oleg Saprykin (Ottawa Senators) (CSKA Moscow).

Defender Dmitri Vorobiev (Toronto Maple Leafs) (Salavat Yulaev Ufa) and forward Konstantin Gorovikov (SKA St. Petersburg) have been replaced by Alexei Zhitnik (Dynamo Moscow) and Alexei Badyukov (Ak Bars Kazan)
01/26/2009 Young goalie Ilya Proskuryakov earns a shutout and scores a goal!

Continental Hockey League (KHL) -  A former ranked NHL draft prospect and Russian junior national team goalie, 1987 born Ilya Proskuryakov earned an important shutout and also scored the first ever goal by a goalie in the KHL during a close contest against HC Ak Bars. The young netminder turned aside 29 shots and while his club was leading 1:0 with just 15 seconds left in the game Proskuryakov tried to clear the puck out of the zone, but his clear became a shot when it bounced past defenseman Ilya Nikulin (Atlanta Thrashers) and eventually made to the net, hitting the post before rolling in. Proskuryakov has enjoyed a career season with HC Metallurg, taking over the starting position and playing 33 games, winning 21 of them (3rd in the league) with an impressive 92%save percentage and 2.15 GAA. Along with Georgy Gellashvilli and Stanislav Galimov , he remains one of the top undrafted goalies to skate in Russia.
11/07/2008 Russian Hockey Federation anounces roster for Karjala Cup

Karjala Cup (EuroTour) -  FHR (Russian Hockey Federation) has released the list of the players who will skate for Russia in the forthcoming Karjala Cup, Euro Hockey Tour’s first round, who will be played in Finland from sixth to ninth November. Russia will play the first game at home, in Moscow, against Sweden. Every EHT round has a game scheduled in another country than the organizing one.

The Russian roster features seven players from CSKA Moscow and six from Salavat Yulaev Ufa. The most notable missing player is probably the former Vancouver Canuck Kirill Koltsov.

Konstantin Barulin (St. Louis Blues) (CSKA)
Mikhail Biryukov (HC MVD)
Alexander Eremenko (Salavat Yulaev Ufa)

Ilya Nikulin (Atlanta Thrashers) (Ak Bars)
Vitaliy Atyushov (Ottawa Senators) (Metallurg Magnitogorsk)
Vitali Vishnevsky (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl)
Alexei Zhitnik (Dynamo Moscow)
Konstantin Korneev (Montreal Canadiens) (CSKA)
Denis Kulyash (Nashville Predators) (CSKA)
Vitali Proshkin (Salavat Yulaev Ufa)
Igor Schadilov (Washington Capitals) (Salavat Yulaev Ufa)

Anton But (Tampa Bay Lightning) (CSKA)
Denis Parshin (Colorado Avalanche) (CSKA)
Oleg Saprykin (Ottawa Senators) (CSKA)
Petr Schastlivy (Phoenix Coyotes) (CSKA)
Konstantin Gorovikov (SKA)
Danis Zaripov (Ak Bars)
Sergei Zinovjev (Boston Bruins) (Ak Bars)
Alexei Morozov (Pittsburgh Penguins) (Ak Bars)
Sergei Mozyakin (Columbus Blue Jackets) (Atlant)
Alexander Perezhogin (Montreal Canadiens) (Salavat Yulaev Ufa)
Alexei Tereschenko (Dallas Stars) (Salavat Yulaev Ufa)
Alexander Radulov (Nashville Predators) (Salavat Yulaev Ufa)
Alexei Mikhnov (Edmonton Oilers) (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl)

08/18/2008 NHL Not Interested In Compensation Offers from KHL
08/14/2008 Ilya Nikulin (Atlanta Thrashers): I really wanted to go to Atlanta
08/04/2008 Ilya Nikulin (Atlanta Thrashers)'s arrival in North America less certain
07/21/2008 Ilya Nikulin: NHL is My Childhood Dream
07/06/2008 Ilya Nikulin (Atlanta Thrashers) close to signing with Thrashers
01/28/2008 Ilya Nikulin's 2004-05 Dynamo Moscow jersey added
11/06/2007 Team Russia lines announced!
10/16/2007 Vyacheslav Bykov announces Team Russia roster for Karjala Cup
10/16/2007 Vyacheslav Bykov announces Team Russia roster for Karjala Cup
07/08/2007 Russian Super League Offseason Player Transfers Part 1 (Top Four Clubs)
04/26/2007 Team Russia announces final roster
03/30/2007 Nikolai Kulemin (Toronto Maple Leafs) continues career season
02/26/2007 Round 53 - HC CSKA blown away by lowly HC Amur
11/17/2006 Russia - Czech Republic - Exclusive RussianProspects Scouting Analysis
04/24/2006 Ilya Nikulin (Atlanta Thrashers) favored to make lineup
04/12/2006 Finals: Amazing Nikulin leads Kazan - scores 3rd in 3 games!
03/06/2006 Ilya Nikulin (Atlanta Thrashers): I am happy with everything in Kazan
07/23/2005 Ilya Nikulin's (Atlanta Thrashers) 2004-05 Russian Super League Season Scouting Evaluation
06/30/2005 Ilya Nikulin's (Atlanta Thrashers) game worn jersey no longer available
06/25/2005 Ilya Nikulin (Atlanta Thrashers) 2004-05 Russian Super League Season Scouting Evaluation
07/22/2004 Dynamo destroys it’s High League (Russia 1) farm club in a friendly match
Scouting Evaluations:
Lada Togliatti beats Ak Bars in Kazan
KHL January 13th: Dinamo Moscow edges Ak Bars Kazan in close game
KHL January 13th: Dinamo Moscow edges Ak Bars Kazan in close game
Round 52 – Ak Bars vs Metallurg (10 prospects scouted): Clash of the Champions Review
Round 46 – Khimik Mytischi vs Ak Bars Kazan (10 prospects scouted)
Russian Superleague Round 15. Avangard Omsk vs Ak Bars
Super League Round 3: Prospects parade in Kazan - Metallurg Mg. vs. Ak Bars (Kazan) Scouting Analysis
Russia - Czech Republic - Exclusive RussianProspects Scouting Analysis
Ilya Nikulin (Atlanta Thrashers) 2004-05 Russian Super League Season Scouting Evaluation
Scouting Game Notes: Ak Bars (Kazan) vs. Dynamo (Moscow)
Scouting Game Notes: Metallurg (Mg.) vs. Dynamo (Moscow)
Talent Analysis:
Ilja Nikulin is a large stay at home defenseman. Standing at 6’3 and the "official" 211 pounds he is a force to be reckoned with on the ice. He has had to work on the consistency of his physical presence on the ice and this season his effort has paid off. Defensively, Ilya is very responsible and plays a solid positional defense. One area that Ilya does need to improve in order to be successful is his intensity. Offensively, Ilja has showed some potential. He does have above average skating ability and has great pick up speed. A couple of things are slowing his development at this time. First he hesitates in the offensive zone, rarely shooting the puck. While this issue will take lot effort and dedication to resolve, the second problem is much easier to solve, but has an almost equal impact on his performance. According to Dynamo’s new coach, Vladimir Semenov, Ilja need lose some weight to gain mobility. However, as he will probably need to bulk up for the rigors of the NHL, converting the unnecessary weight into muscle and taking the time to adjust to his new heavier frame. Ilja has been developing well so far and the promotion he received this season to play on Dynamo’s main squad has been a great positive step. He possesses an overall solid game and none of his shortcomings are irreparable.
Back In Russia:
Ilya has been raised in the Dynamo Moscow system and has consistently went up in its ranks over the last few years. Ilja spent most of the 1998-99 season playing for Dynamo’s junior affiliate, Dynamo 2. During the 1999-00 season, after a short stay with Dynamo 2 he was promoted to Dynamo’s immediate farm team, THK Tver that competes in a fairly strong Upper League, which is directly below the Super League in quality. Finally, after the departure of the team’s top four defensemen to the NHL or richer Super League teams during the off season after the 1999-00 season, Ilja got his chance to compete in Russia’s premier league. He did not disappoint, receiving consistent ice time throughout the regular season and Relegation Tournament. He did not get demoted a single time during 2000-01 season, solidifying his position on Dynamo’s senior team.

International Competition
Ilja has been on the Russian National Team for many years. He first appearance at an IIHF event came at the 1999 Under 18 World Junior Championships. He also had a strong appearance at the 2000 Four Nations tournament scoring a goal and assisting on two others, topping that with 35 penalty minutes in just 4 games. Ilja represented Russia at the 2000 Under 18 World Championships. Ilja Nikulin’s international took a surprising turn during the 2000 season. Becoming too old for the Under 18 National squad, Ilja was logically expected to be promoted to Under 20 junior squad. Despite getting consistent ice time with his club Dynamo Moscow, this, however did not occur, as the team’s coach, Petr Vorobiev did not invite this talented defenseman to the 2001 Under 20 World Championships. This, along with a lack of an invitation for a 2001 NHL Entry Draft prospect Igor Knyazev were the two biggest surprises in the Russian Team’s lineup. Despite this setback, Ilja was invited to join the Russia’s 2nd squad at the St. Petersburg’s Big Prize Tournament, where he put in a respectable performance, registering an assist and a +4 rating in 4 games, helping Russia win that tournament.
NHL Outlook:
Ilja Nikulin was selected by Atlanta in the second round 31st overall. His steady progress thus far in Russia has given nothing for Atlanta’s management to be concerned about. In fact his mature play and solid work ethic during the 00-01 season with Dynamo’s senior squad does a lot for his future prospects in the NHL. Ilya will likely stay in Russia during the 01-02 season where he will face tough competition for a spot in the line up on the rich and replenished with veterans Dynamo Moscow. He will earn a spot in a lineup and will likely reach the ranks of the NHL by the 2003-2004 season.
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM +/-
2008-09 Ak Bars (Kazan) KHL (Reg.)53 7 26 33 72 22
2007-08 Ak Bars (Kazan) Super League (Playoffs)10 1 3 4 14 2
2007-08 Team Russia LG Games (EuroTour) (Intl.)3 2 1 3 6 +2
2007-08 Ak Bars (Kazan) Super League (Reg.)57 3 15 18 95 1
2006-07 Team Russia Channel 1 Games (EuroTour) (Reg.)3 1 0 1 2 +1
2006-07 Team Russia LG Sweden Games (Reg.)3 1 0 1 0 -1
2006-07 Ak Bars (Kazan) Super League (Reg.)51 11 14 25 99 15
2006-07 Team Russia Ceska Poistovna (Euro Tour) (Intl.)3 0 3 3 6 -
2005-06 Team Russia IIHF World Championships (Intl.)6 1 5 6 6 +2
2005-06 Team Russia Sweden Games (EuroTour) (Intl.)3 0 2 2 2 -
2005-06 Ak Bars (Kazan) Super League (Playoffs)13 4 0 4 36 0
2005-06 Ak Bars (Kazan) Super League (Reg.)49 9 9 18 48 7
2004-05 Dynamo (Moscow) Super League (Playoffs)7 0 3 3 6 +3
2004-05 Dynamo (Moscow) Super League (Reg.)50 1 9 10 65 +9
2003-04 Dynamo (Moscow) Super League (Playoffs)3 0 0 0 2 -
2003-04 Dynamo (Moscow) Super League (Reg.)52 1 5 6 78 -
2002-03 Dynamo (Moscow) Super League (Playoffs)5 0 1 1 4 -
2002-03 Dynamo (Moscow) Super League (Reg.)40 1 4 5 46 13
2001-02 U20 Team Russia Big Prize Tourn. (Intl.)4 0 1 1 4 -
2001-02 Dynamo 2 1st League (Juniors)2 0 1 1 2 -
2001-02 Dynamo (Moscow) Super League (Playoffs)3 0 0 0 0 -
2001-02 Dynamo (Moscow) Super League (Reg.)48 2 1 3 44 -
2000-01 Dynamo (Moscow) Super League (Relegation)10 0 1 1 35 -
2000-01 Dynamo (Moscow) Super League (Reg.)34 0 3 3 26 -
2000-01 U20 Team Russia 4 Nations Tourn. (Intl.)3 0 0 0 6 2
1999-00 Dynamo 2 1st League (Juniors)4 2 1 3 10 -
1999-00 THK Tver Upper League (Reg.)39 3 6 9 84 -
1999-00 U18 Team Russia 5 Nations Tourn. (Intl.)4 1 2 3 35 3
1999-00 U18 Team Russia U18 WJC IIHF (Intl.)6 1 1 2 10 5
1998-99 Dynamo 2 1st League (Juniors)23 0 2 2 18 -
1998-99 U18 Team Russia U18 WJC IIHF (Intl.)7 0 1 1 4 1
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