Russian forward Valeri Nichushkin, a top prospect for the 2013 NHL Draft, has been suspended one game by the International Ice Hockey Federation.
Nichushkin, who has one assist in four games, was banned for a hit he delivered to Canada's Tyler Wotherspoon in a 4-1 Group B preliminary round loss to Canada on Monday. Nichushkin was assessed a major penalty plus a game misconduct under Rule 523a. Wotherspoon suffered facial cuts but returned to the game.
The IIHF Disciplinary Panel review stated that Nichushkin delivered a hit from behind to his opponent, extending his arms into the head and neck areas of the Canadian player to drive Wotherspoon's head into the boards and glass. The hit was deemed reckless by the panel.
Nichushkin will miss Russia's quarterfinal showdown against Switzerland on Tuesday (8 a.m. ET, NHLN-US, TSN), but is eligible to return Wednesday if the Russians qualify for the semifinal.