The Carolina Hurricanes have experienced their fair share of bad luck this season and even beyond with Eric Staal's injury at the IIHF World Championships. But maybe the tide is turning? Staal's injury turned out to be a sprain rather than a tear and Valeri Nichushkin just announced that he is planning on playing in the NHL in the 2013/2014 season. Russian sports website R-Sport reported on Wednesday that Nichushkin will be coming to North America to play hockey next season. Below is the link to their article with some more details.
The 2013 NHL Draft is expected to be one of the deeper drafts in recent history with a number of prospects that are projected to be solid to very good NHL players. But the four prospects at the top currently appear to be a cut above the rest. And the Carolina Hurricanes had things fall just the way you would expect and ended up with the 5th overall selection. But with Nichushkin's announcement, that top four has been converted to a top five. Carolina is now looking at getting a highly skilled player that can also contribute to the NHL squad right away.
All of this doesn't mean that the Canes will be getting Nichushkin at the NHL Draft, as Tampa Bay and Nashville have apparently expressed interest in the Russian power forward. Nichushkin is currently ranked by some as the 2nd best prospect in this draft and he already has the size the play in the NHL. Some have compared him to Evgeni Malkin and others have compared him to Jordan Staal. He has all the tools to be a superstar, is a player that goes to the dirty areas and has the size to hold his own in those dirty areas. The big question now is whether he will fall to the Hurricanes at five or will he be gone? Either way, the Canes are likely to select Nichushkin, Aleksander Barkov or Jonathan Drouin; not bad options at all.