Nikita Speaks: A Collection of Quotes from the Leafs’ Latest Addition

Soshnikov

Photo: YouTube

As you may have heard by now, the Toronto Maple Leafs have signed free agent Russian winger Nikita Soshnikov to a three-year entry level contract. Most recently, the 21-year old Soshnikov played for Atlant Mytishchi in the KHL, scoring 14 goals and 32 points in 57 games played. That points total was fourth best among U24 players in the league.

Now that the news has broke, we’re seeing more and more quotes coming out of Soshnikov and the Russian media. Not that I know anything about him personally, but he’s certainly saying all of the right things.

More past the jump…

On signing with Toronto…

From Atlant’s Team Website:

“There was interest from other clubs in the NHL, but Toronto made ​​a concrete proposal and acted very quickly. I know how popular hockey [is] there, what sort of fans. I am very happy that I made ​​this decision.”

“Financial issue for me did not matter… I have a goal to play in the NHL, where the best players in the world play.”

On playing in the Minors…

From RSport.ru via the Toronto Star’s Kevin McGran:

“I know that it’s a two-way contract, and I probably will have to make my way through the farm club but I’m ready for it.”
Soshnikov said it was important to him that the Marlies were also located in Toronto, so that management can see what he can do on the farm.
“This means that everything will depend on me,” he said.

On cracking the Leafs roster…

On Not Knowing Leo Komarov…

The above quote also came from Atlant’s team website.

Like I said earlier, Soshnikov is saying all of the things management and fans want to hear, but hey, it would be unlikely for the 5’11, 183lb forward to jump into the NHL next season and make an impact. He’ll likely join the Marlies and compete for ice time and call-up opportunities with the likes of Connor Brown, Brendan Leipsic, Greg McKegg and Josh Leivo.

Still, it never hurts to stock the organization with young and promising talent on cheap deals. That’s just good hockey management. Next year, Soshnikov will join the Leafs organization and we’ll get an idea of just how promising and talented he is.

  • STAN

    If summer brings a REAL rebuild, then there will be many spots available for quick, young, puck savvy players. I count Soshnikov among them. There’s no reason he can’t be on the big club out of camp or soon after.

    Is Mark Hunter responsible for this signing?

    • I’d rather fill up most of the roster with cheap free agents and let the kids develop a bit longer than stick guys like Brown and Leipsic and Soshnikov in a bad situation.

      That doesn’t make the rebuild any less real.