Posts Tagged ‘niokalia’

The Flyers have made some moves that will really change the way their roster looks this upcoming season.  The one I am most excited for is the signing of Russian Nikolai Zherdev.  Drafted 4th overall in the 2003 draft, Zherdev will be looking to show the NHL viewers his skill again after playing in the KHL for the 2009-2010 season.  Before that he spent one season with the New York Rangers (2008-2009) and his rookie and sophomore seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets.  The right winger has tons of skill, but comes with a somewhat concerning reputation.

A scouting report from SBNation.com describes Zherdev as a player with explosive strides, superb one-on-one ability and fully loaded with offensive skills.  On the down side he is known to take too many shifts off and needs work in the defensive zone.  In recent reports Zherdev has said he thinks his game has changed from earlier in his career and he is now more of a two way player, which he is ready to prove.

So with all of this being said he looks like a pretty hard player to predict heading into his first season with the Flyers.  His career high in points was his second season in the league, where he registered 26 goals and 35 assists.  This was also on a Blue Jackets team that finished 25th in the league and had a defensive minded coach.  So with a deep lineup like the Flyers and an offensive minded coach does Zherdev have a new career high in the points column, I think so.

As a right winger, Zherdev could be playing on anywhere from the first line to the third line.  Either way he will have a talented center with the Flyers having Richards, Carter, Briere, or Giroux down the middle, with one of them moving to the wing.  Do they put him with Richards to help the line in the defensive zone?  Do they put him along side Carter or Giroux to match his speed or do they have the Flyers most impressive offensive player from the playoffs, Danny Briere, center him?  That is something coach Peter Laviolette will have to decide.  Whoever his center is I am expecting big things from Nikolai Zherdev.