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Nichushkin '100 percent sure' he's ready for NHL

by Mike G. Morreale

TORONTO -- Sports agent Mark Gandler confirmed to Tuesday that his top draft-eligible client, Russian right wing Valeri Nichushkin, has terminated his contract with Moscow Dynamo in order to play in North America next season. But there is a provision.

"If he's not playing in the NHL, he's going to have to play for Dynamo," Gandler told "The termination [of his contract] occurred without compensation to the team. This is what we would owe the team for that provision."

Gandler isn't the only person who is confident the 6-foot-4, 202-pound left-hander will earn a roster spot on an NHL team next season.

Asked how confident he is that he will play in the NHL in 2013-14, Nichushkin said, "100 percent sure."

Gandler said players like Nichushkin don't come around very often and that whichever team selects him at the 2013 NHL Draft in Newark, N.J. is going to be very satisfied. The agent also confirmed that the team drafting Nichushkin will know the terms of the Dynamo contract.

"The team drafting him will know that they would have to assign him to Dynamo if he wasn't playing for their team," Gandler said. "It could happen during the season or it could happen prior to training camp or during training camp. But I strongly believe Nichushkin is more ready for the NHL than a majority of players over the past 10 years who played in the NHL right after the draft."


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