Rabid Habs

Brown: Nikita Scherbak Will Be In The NHL Next Year

When your Montreal Canadiens selected Nikita Scherbak with their 1st round, 26th overall draft pick in 2014, the Russian native was a highly touted prospect due to his uncanny offensive abilities. The Everett Silvertips alum was drafted for his excellent puck skills and sneaky-good shot. After 3 grueling years of development in the AHL, Nikita Scherbak has all the tools necessary to become an NHL regular by as early as next season.

The Russian native has hit tremendous strides offensively and defensively with the Laval Rocket this year. Scherbak has been playing his heart out, an aspect of his game that was not visible in years past. He also developed a forechecking acumen that will bode well for Claude Julien’s game plan. Despite not living up to the hype in his first two seasons of professional hockey partly due to the several untimely injuries he suffered and a resounding issue with his overall defensive game, Scherbak has honed his game and has become one of the Canadiens’ most interesting prospects.

Scherbak has been a polarizing figure in the AHL. His 25 points in 20 games give him a 1.25 Points per game average. To put the aforementioned stat into perspective, his point production in the AHL has been on a steady incline since he broke into the AHL in 2015:

Scherbak’s outrageous statistics put himself in elite company with fellow 2014/2015 1st rounders like Dylan Strome (1.55 PPG), Nick Merkley (1.25 PPG), Jack Roslovic (1.13 PPG) and Nikolay Goldobin (1.06 PPG) among others.

Scherbak is currently experiencing an eerily comparable path to the NHL like Charles Hudon. Both Hudon and Scherbak were prized offensive prospects, but they both had the same lingering faults in their play. They both had there fair share of untimely injuries while having issues on the defensive side of the game. Hudon and Scherbak also saw a steady increase in their offensive production in the AHL, the only difference being that Scherbak’s points-per-game pace increased dramatically as opposed to Hudon’s. In Charles Hudon’s final season in the AHL, the Alma, Quebec native posted a 0.88 points-per-game average. So far into his rookie season with the Habs, he’s on pace for an admirable 31 points.

Imagine what wonders Nikita Scherbak can produce in the NHL when the chance is finally presented to him. If Charles Hudon can get 30-35 points in his rookie season when he posted a 0.88 PPG average in his final season in the AHL, just imagine the possibility of what Scherbak can produce in the NHL when he’s currently posting more than a point per game in his final season in the AHL.

Staying healthy is obviously the biggest concern for the lanky winger, but if his health can catch up to his game, Montreal might have the next big scoring threat just a few kilometers away.

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