29 October 1991 |
Moscow, Russian SFSR,
|Height||6 ft 2 in (188 cm)|
|Weight||195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)|
|Toronto Maple Leafs
HC Sibir Novosibirsk
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). 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." Despite this, Zaitsev returned to Russia to honour the final year of his contract with Moscow. 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.
On 2 May 2016, he signed a one-year entry level deal with the Maple Leafs. 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.
Regular season and playoffs
|2008–09||MHC Krylya Sovetov||RUS 2||8||0||0||0||0||—||—||—||—||—|
|2016–17||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||82||4||32||36||38||4||0||0||0||0|
|Men's ice hockey|
|IIHF World Championship|
|IIHF World U18 Championship|
|2009 United States|
|IIHF World U20 Championship|
|2011 United States|
Awards and honours
|Award or Honour||Year||Ref|
|2x KHL All-Star||2015, 2016|||
|KHL First All Star Team||2015|||
|Most playoff points by a defenceman (13)||2016|||
|IIHF World Championships|
|IIHF World Championship All-Star Team||2016|
- "Maple Leafs Sign Defenceman Nikita Zaitsev". National Hockey League. 2 May 2016. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
- "Leafs summer recruit Nikita Zaitsev thriving in final year of KHL deal". Pension Plan Puppets. 22 October 2015. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
- "Alex Semin, Metallurg win KHL championship in thrilling Game 7". Roger's Sportsnet. 19 April 2016. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
- "Maple Leafs sign Nikita Zaitsev to long-term extension; Ben Smith inked - Sportsnet.ca". Sportsnet.ca. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
- Career statistics and player information from NHL.com, or Eliteprospects.com, or Eurohockey.com, or Hockey-Reference.com, or The Internet Hockey Database
- Nikita Zaitsev profile and statistics at KHL.ru
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