Nikita Nikitin signs with St. Louis Blues (Photo © Ilya Korneev)
24 years old Nikita Nikitin has been signed to an entry level contract by the St. Louis Blues, as reported by the team’s official page.
Nikitin played his whole career with Avangard Omsk. Last season he scored four goals and 13 points in 43 regular season games. “His top feature is his excellent first pass. He can launch a forward one-on-one against the goalie directly from his own zone”, Russian reporter Ilya Elchaninov based in Omsk said to RussianHockeyFans.com. “He’s got a very strong shot, but he lacks accuracy.”
Nikitin played with team Russia one of the stages for the Euro Hockey Tour, even if he couldn’t score a single point in the three games he wore team Russia jersey. “He’s a fairly fast skating and is very good on the corners”, added Elchaninov. “The fact with him is that he’s inconsistent. He can play a great game and then a bad one the day after. Sometimes he makes some positioning mistakes. He needs to be well mentored by his coach. When Avangard’s coach was Sergei Gersonsky he was the best defenseman of the team, but when that coach stepped out, it was just not the same. He can play both defensive and offensive roles, even if he’s better as stay at home blue liner. Nikitin has a big potential, but he needs to be motivated.”
Nikitin has been signed by the Blues to a one year contract. He was drafted in the fifth round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.