Nikita Zaitsev

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Nikita Zaitsev
Nikita Zajtsev May 4, 2014.jpg
Born (1991-10-29) 29 October 1991 (age 25)
Moscow, Russian SFSR,
Soviet Union
Height 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight 195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)
Position Defence
Shoots Right
NHL team
Former teams
Toronto Maple Leafs
HC Sibir Novosibirsk
CSKA Moscow
National team  Russia
NHL Draft Undrafted
Playing career 2009–present

Nikita Igorevich Zaitsev (Russian: Никита Игоревич Зайцев; born 29 October 1991) is a Russian professional ice hockey defenceman who currently plays for the Toronto Maple Leafs of the NHL.

Playing career[edit]

He was a first round selection in the 2009 KHL Junior Draft, chosen 4th overall, and made his KHL debut with HC Sibir Novosibirsk a few months later. After four years with the Sibir organization, Zaitsev joined his hometown CSKA Moscow. It was here where he began to attract international attention. He was twice a KHL All-Star (2015, 2016) and named once to the KHL First All-Star team (2014–15).[1] In the summer of 2015, the Toronto Maple Leafs began to garner much publicized interest in the young blueliner. Zaitsev had even toured the city and arena, while also meeting with team staff, coming away "very impressed."[2] Despite this, Zaitsev returned to Russia to honour the final year of his contract with Moscow.[2] During the subsequent season's playoffs, he led all defenceman in scoring with 13 points (tied with Sami Lepistö and Chris Lee, while helping the top seeded CSKA to the Gagarin Cup finals, where the team lost in the deciding Game 7 to Metallurg Magnitogorsk.[3]

On 2 May 2016, he signed a one-year entry level deal with the Maple Leafs.[1] He made his preseason debut with the club on 2 October, picking up a goal in a 3–2 win over the rival Montreal Canadiens. On 12 October 2016, Zaitsev made his official NHL debut in a 5–4 loss to the Ottawa Senators in the season opener. Zaitsev scored his first NHL goal on 17 December 2016, against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

On May 2 2017, Zaitsev was signed to a 7-year extension worth $31.5 million carrying an average value of $4.5 million a season.[4]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2008–09 MHC Krylya Sovetov RUS 2 8 0 0 0 0
2009–10 HC Sibir KHL 40 0 1 1 6
2010–11 HC Sibir KHL 39 0 2 2 12 4 0 0 0 2
2011–12 HC Sibir KHL 53 1 3 4 28
2012–13 HC Sibir KHL 49 7 11 18 41 7 1 0 1 8
2013–14 CSKA Moscow KHL 33 4 8 12 18 4 1 1 2 27
2014–15 CSKA Moscow KHL 57 12 20 32 31 16 1 7 8 2
2015–16 CSKA Moscow KHL 46 8 18 26 20 20 4 9 13 10
2016–17 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 82 4 32 36 38 4 0 0 0 0
KHL totals 317 32 63 95 156 51 7 17 24 49
NHL totals 82 4 32 36 38 4 0 0 0 0

International[edit]

Medal record
Representing  Russia
Men's ice hockey
IIHF World Championship
Bronze medal – third place 2016 Russia
IIHF World U18 Championship
Silver medal – second place 2009 United States
IIHF World U20 Championship
Gold medal – first place 2011 United States
Year Team Event Result   GP G A Pts PIM
2009 Russia WJC18 2nd, silver medalist(s) 7 1 4 5 14
2010 Russia WJC 6th 6 0 0 0 4
2011 Russia WJC 1st, gold medalist(s) 6 0 0 0 0
2013 Russia WC 6th 3 1 0 1 0
2016 Russia WC 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 10 1 3 4 2
Junior totals 19 1 4 5 18
Senior totals 13 2 3 5 2

Awards and honours[edit]

Award or Honour Year Ref
KHL
2x KHL All-Star 2015, 2016 [1]
KHL First All Star Team 2015 [1]
Most playoff points by a defenceman (13) 2016 [1]
IIHF World Championships
IIHF World Championship All-Star Team 2016

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Maple Leafs Sign Defenceman Nikita Zaitsev". National Hockey League. 2 May 2016. Retrieved 6 October 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Leafs summer recruit Nikita Zaitsev thriving in final year of KHL deal". Pension Plan Puppets. 22 October 2015. Retrieved 6 October 2016. 
  3. ^ "Alex Semin, Metallurg win KHL championship in thrilling Game 7". Roger's Sportsnet. 19 April 2016. Retrieved 6 October 2016. 
  4. ^ "Maple Leafs sign Nikita Zaitsev to long-term extension; Ben Smith inked - Sportsnet.ca". Sportsnet.ca. Retrieved 2017-05-02. 

External links[edit]