Drummondville Voltigeurs in talks with Avangard Omsk’s Nikita Pivtsakin (Photo © Ghyslain Bergeron, L’Express)
Russian player Nikita Pivtsakin might strengthen the Drummondville’s defense already after the Subway Superseries. This at least according to the Voltigeurs’ plans, who are trying to convince the 18 years old guy moving to Canada.
Selected in the Import Draft’s first round (49th overall pick), by the Cap Breton Screaming Eagles, Pivtsaking didn’t show up in their pre season camp in Sidney. The Omsk, Russia, native defenseman instead deciding taking the first steps in his pro career in the KHL playing for Jaromir Jagr’s Avangard Omsk.
After Pivtsakin refused to report the Screaming Eagles decided to free up the 5’9”, 174 lbs defenseman, who has been claimed later by Voltigeurs’ General Manager Dominic Ricard.
Described as a reliable, complete defenseman with a good passing game, Pivtsakin has been on Quebec ice during the Subway SuperSeries in the Centre Marcel-Dionne in Drummondville and Centre Bionest in Shawinigan. Russian delegation will be in Canada until November 26th and will play other matches in Ontario and in British Columbia. During his staying in Quebec, the Voltigeur’s board intends meet him trying to convince the player to move overseas.
“We know that chances to convince him to join us are slim as he’s under contract in the KHL, but we have to try. He can still join us the next season” – said Voltigeurs’ GM Dominic Ricard, adding that he shares agent with Florida Panthers’ Dmitry Kulikov.
In the 18 KHL matches he played he has been left out of the scoresheet. He also skated a little with Avangard junior farm team in the Russian junior league.
Last spring he has skated with team Russia and grabbed a silver medal in the IIHF World U-18 Championships in Fargo, USA. Under the eyes of Voltigeurs’ assistant GM André Ruel he had one assist and finished with an impressive +8.
Adding Pivtsakin would mean that the Voltigeurs would maximize their efforts in the latest Import Draft as the Czech Ondrej Palat is already part of the team.
The meeting between Pivtsakin and the Voltigeurs did happen and Ricard labeled as “positive” the conversation with the young defenseman.
“Nikita loved what he saw in Drummondville and he showed interest in moving in Canada, especially considering his limited role in his team in Russia. But he doesn’t know yet if he can move here now or for the next season. He will be back in Russia and will have a talk with his parents and will definitely know more during the next few weeks. The most important thing is that he didn’t close the door to us” – explained Dominic Ricard, indicating that these talks are part of a “long process”.
“Pivtsakin isn’t a player of Dmitry Kulikov’s caliber, but surely he’d be able to help us” – added Ricard.
If he’ll accept to join the Voltigeurs, the QMJHL will have to obtain his freeing from the Russian team before icing him.
Original article in French by Jonathan Habashi, L’Express: first and second article