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Vadim Shipachyov: 8 Fun Facts

Get to know the second player in Vegas Golden Knights history

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

It's a name not widely known among North American hockey fans who's been attracting the interest of NHL front offices.

Vadim Shipachyov, a 30-year-old center who the Golden Knights signed on Thursday, has been lighting up the Kontinental Hockey League the past few years.

Playing for SKA Saint Petersburg, he was third in the league in scoring this season, regularly surpassing the performances of opponents with legitimate NHL resumes.

 

Video: Golden Knights sign Vadim Shipachyov

 

Pavel Datsyuk, Vladimir Sobotka and Valeri Nichushkin are just a few of the players that Shipachyov outscored this season.

It's these accolades that have had a handful of teams practically begging the 30-year-old center to jump to the NHL in each of the past several summers.

That courting process, of course, ended when the Golden Knights signed Shipachyov on Thursday.

Here are eight fun facts to get to know Shipachyov better.

Watch: Youtube Video

 

1. Shipachyov Is An Elite Scorer

Shipachyov finished third in the Kontinental Hockey League with 76 points (26g, 50a) in 50 games this season.

Teammate Ilya Kovalchuk and Metallurg Magnitogorsk captain Sergei Mozyakin were the only KHL skaters to finish ahead of Shipachyov in league scoring.

2. He's First And Foremost A Playmaker

 Shipachyov did, however, finish ahead of both Kovalchuk and Mozyakin in assists, and is arguably the best playmaker in the world not in the NHL.

This past season, Shipachyov finished second in the KHL with 50 assists in 50 games, and led the league with 43 assists last season.

His 93 assists over the past two seasons lead the KHL.

3. Is Used To Playing On Winning Teams

Shipachyev won Gagarin Cups (KHL championship) in two of the past three seasons (2015 & 2017), including in his final KHL game this past March.

 

Watch: Youtube Video

 

4. Is Used To Playing With Elite Players

In the KHL, Shipachyov's SKA Saint Petersburg club is considered the league's preeminent team at putting a premium on high-price free agents to ice a contender every season.

In a way, SKA Saint Petersburg could be considered the New York Yankees of the KHL, having previously lured Ilya Kovalchuk and Pavel Datsyuk from the NHL to join their franchise.

In addition to Kovalchuk and Datsyuk, Shipachyov's notable St. Petersburg teammates this past season include Slava Voynov, Evgenii Dadonov and Viktor Tikhonov.

Another past St. Petersburg teammate of Shipachyov was current Chicago Blackhawks star Artemi Panarin.

5. Is Attempting To Follow A Similar Path As Panarin

Like Panarin (HC Vityaz), Shipachyov began his KHL career with a lesser team (Severstal Cherepovets) as someone who hadn't been drafted by an NHL team, became a late-blooming star and moved on to play for the league's (arguably) top franchise in a high-profile transaction.

Panarin "graduated" from the KHL to join the Chicago Blackhawks two years ago, with North American experts unsure how his game would translate to the NHL.

Panarin, of course, is now a cornerstone of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Shipachyov's career arc is similar to Panarin's, with the exception being that the newest Golden Knights is six years older (30) than Panarin was when he made his jump.

6. Is a team leader

Served as St. Petersburg's captain in 2015-16, and was assistant captain on both of the team's championship squads in 2014-15 and 2016-17.

7. Has played against NHL players before

2013-14 is the year that Shipachyov jumped from Severstal Cherepovets to St. Petersburg and became a staple of Russia's national team.

Despite being left off the 2014 Olympic team, Shipachyov has played for Russia in the World Championships the past three years, winning a gold, silver and bronze.

8. Wears A Trademark Jersey Number

 Is known for wearing the number 87 in both league and international competition. 

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