Valeri Nichushkin has trouble speaking English but there’s no doubt he understands what’s being said.
In fact it seems the 18-year-old Russian winger understands everything.
Nichushkin is in a new land trying to make it in a new league and accomplish something few others his age have. And yet he seems to have a determination and confidence that’s stronger than even his most ardent supporters.
“He says he doesn’t want to be anyone else that he only wants to be Valeri Nichushkin” said defenseman Sergei Gonchar the other Russian on the Stars roster acting as a translator. “All he ever wanted to be is the best person he can be.”
But the comparisons come. Nichushkin is a young Russian scorer and the history of recent NHL players shows that’s a difficult position to be in. One those players often lean far too heavily on skill and struggle to keep up with the physical play in the NHL. Two the cultural differences can make it difficult to communicate with NHL coaches. Three the siren ca...