CALGARY, AB -- Highly-touted 2013 NHL Draft prospect Valeri Nichushkin has publicly stated he wants to play in North America in the 2013-14 season.
Questions swirled around the right winger's future plans due to his contract with Traktor Chelyabinsk (KHL) but after he was dealt to Dynamo Moscow, he made his intentions known.
"I have already decided I will go to the NHL," Nichushkin told R-Sport news agency in Russia. "Dynamo (Moscow) has accepted this calmly and I was told that I can leave if I want to. There are no legal problems. My deal with Dynamo is terminated and I am leaving a free agent."
Nichushkin played 18 regular season games with Traktor in 2012-13, scoring four goals and six points. He suited up for 25 postseason tilts, amassing six goals and nine points to help the club reach the KHL finals. On Wednesday, he won the Alexei Cherepanov Award, given to the KHL's top rookie.
The 6-foot-4, 202 lbs. forward is second on the NHL Central Scouting Service's final 2013 International Skater Rankings.