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Road to the NHL Draft: Nikita Scherbak

By John Vogl

Nikita Scherbak

Position: Left wing

Junior team: Saskatoon (WHL)

Born: Moscow

Measurables: 6-foot, 172 pounds

2013-14 stats: 65 games, 28 goals, 50 assists, 78 points

Central Scouting rank: No. 15 (North America)

Lowdown: The big paychecks are what lure many Russians back to the homeland, but the rigid lifestyle there is what made Scherbak leave for North America. His dream is to make the NHL, and his rookie season proved to be a good indicator that he’s got the chops. He had 29 more points than the next-best first-year player.

Scherbak quickly adapted to the smaller rinks in becoming the go-to guy in Saskatoon. He put up points without much talent around him, nearly doubling the output of the Blades’ second-place player. Skating is his strong suit, with speed and agility on display. He’s creative, with moves taken from the video games he likes to play.

Scherbak is a raw talent with lots to learn, especially on the defensive end. His coach was afraid to use him during tight games early in the year. He’s very coachable despite still being in the earlier stages of learning English and is becoming more talkative with teammates.

They said it: “Great skill and smarts, he’s played all three forward positions this year but his strength is on the right wing being a left hand shot because he loves to drive the net. He’s an unselfish player and has really adapted well to the North American game.” – Peter Sullivan of NHL Central Scouting.

The Buffalo News is profiling 30 prospects in 30 days leading up to the NHL draft, which begins June 27.

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

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