Winning eight of their last nine games, the division-leading Syracuse Crunch have surged with the help of right winger Nikita Kucherov, who was named the AHL Player of the Week on Monday, November 4.
Upon entering Saturday’s game against the Norfolk Admirals, Kucherov was atop the AHL leaderboards with12 goals, six coming on the power-play, and was second in the league for points with 22.
Selected by Tampa Bay 58th overall in the second round of the 2011 NHL Entry draft, Kucherov was riding a nine-game point streak, which ended Saturday against the Admirals. Prior to Saturday’s game, his streak was the second-longest active streak in the league, trailing only teammate Vladislav Namestnikov, who owns the AHL’s longest active streak with points in 11 consecutive games.
Kucherov, 5- foot-11, 184 pounds, had 26 goals and 53 points in 27 games last season for Rouyn-Noranda of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. A native of Maykop, Russia, Kucherov also represented his country in the World Junior Championships, winning the Silver Medal in 2012 and bronze in 2013.
Showing more poise and confidence by the end of Lightning training camp, Kucherov finished with a goal and three points in five games and has since aided Syracuse to a record of 9-3-1. The Crunch has home games this weekend against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Friday and Albany on Saturday, where Kucherov will look to get back on the scoring trail.