Ilya Nikulin: Still an NHL Tease?

By , Hockey VIPs Magazine
August 25, 2015

KHL defenseman Ilya Nikulin

One of the KHL’s best defensemen, Ilya Nikulin, is once again considering a jump to the NHL.

Star Russian defenseman Ilya Nikulin, who has been flirting with the NHL since he was drafted in 2000 by the Atlanta Thrashers, is rumored to be finally making his way West.  He won’t be with the Winnipeg/Atlanta franchise however.  If he comes, he is reportedly bound for Washington, D.C. and the Capitals.

Washington super sniper Alex Ovechkin said he would be delighted to welcome Nikulin to America’s capital.

“I recently spoke with Nikulin,” Ovechkin said in an interview with R-sport.  “And he didn’t give me any clarity. He has agents who are looking for a contract for him. I think that Nikulin is a mighty defenseman.  He will play well anywhere. If I’m asked, I’ll share my opinion: I’ll only be glad if Nikulin is signed [in Washington].”

Nikulin has spent the last 10 seasons with Ak Bars Kazan.  When his contract expired in May, he and the team parted ways.  For many years he has said playing in the NHL is his dream but “life dictated” his decision to remain in Russia.

In an interview with reporters, he refused to discuss his future, saying he was uncomfortable talking about it and to “call again next week.”

In 363 regular season KHL games for Ak Bars Kazan and Dynamo Moscow, he has scored 218 points (58 goals, 160 assists) and amassed 412 penalty minutes.

Translations:  Tatiana Markina

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One Response to Ilya Nikulin: Still an NHL Tease?

  1. Andy Reply

    September 4, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    Hope he does not go to the Crapitals. Love your site.

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