Kulemin with the New York Islanders in March 2015.
14 July 1986 |
Magnitogorsk, Russian SFSR,
|Height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Weight||212 lb (96 kg; 15 st 2 lb)|
|New York Islanders
Toronto Maple Leafs
|NHL Draft||44th overall, 2006
Toronto Maple Leafs
Nikolay Vladimirovich Kulemin (Russian: Николай Владимирович Кулёмин; born 14 July 1986) is a Russian professional ice hockey player. He currently plays with the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League (NHL). Kulemin was selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the second round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft as the 44th overall pick.
On 25 May 2007, Kulemin signed a three-year contract with the Maple Leafs, but stayed in Russia for the 2007–08 season on a handshake agreement between the Maple Leafs and Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL. During the early stages of the 2008–09 NHL season, his first in the NHL, Kulemin found chemistry on a line with teammates Niklas Hagman and Mikhail Grabovski. Kulemin's first NHL goal occurred in his first NHL game, against the Detroit Red Wings, on goaltender Chris Osgood, in Toronto's 2008–09 season opener on 9 October 2008. The goal ended up as the game winner in a 3–2 Leafs win. Near the end of the season, after the trade of Leafs forward Nik Antropov, Kulemin was used mainly on a line with Grabovski and Alexei Ponikarovsky. In a game against the Montreal Canadiens on 21 March 2009, soon after the line was created, Kulemin posted a career-high three points (one goal and two assists) in a 5–2 Toronto win. Notably, Ponikarovsky, a Ukrainian, helped Kulemin become more comfortable in North America by translating and serving as a mentor on and off the ice.
Kulemin showed a small offensive improvement in his second season, going from 15 goals and 31 points to 16 goals and 36 points. His 16 goals were tied for 4th on the Maple Leafs by season's end, and his 36 points were 5th. In late January, he was selected as a reserve by Team Russia for the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympics should an injury occur during the tournament. On 2 July 2010, Kulemin signed a 2 year-year contract worth $2.35M per year.
The 2010-11 season was a big leap for Kulemin. Playing on a line with Mikhail Grabovski and Clarke MacArthur, Kulemin posted new career highs in goals and points. On 5 April 2011, Kulemin became the first Russian-born Toronto Maple Leaf to score 30 goals in a season since Alexander Mogilny scored 33 in 2002–2003. Kulemin, along with Mats Sundin, Phil Kessel, James van Riemsdyk, Mogilny and Auston Matthews, are the only Leafs to score 30 or more since the 1999–2000 NHL season. He also scored a career high 4 points against the Atlanta Thrashers on January 7th, 2011. 
Following the 2010-11 season, Kulemin dropped to 7 goals over 70 games in the 2011–12 NHL season. His shooting percentage plummeted from 17.3% to 6.5%. Despite his setbacks offensively, Kulemin was re-signed by Toronto on 20 July 2012, to another two-year contract, worth $2.8M per year. During the NHL lockout in the 2012–13 NHL season, he returned to the Metallurg Magnitogorsk, where he scored 38 points in 36 games. Upon the lockout ending he returned to Toronto, and scored 7 goals and 23 points in 48 games. In the playoffs, Kulemin managed only 1 assist in 7 games as the Leafs fell to the Bruins.
In the 2013-14 season, Kulemin was selected to play in the 2014 Winter Olympics for the Russian National team on home soil. With the Maple Leafs, Kulemin managed only 9 goals and a career low 11 assists for a mere 20 points. Over 70 games he notched only 81 shots, a far cry from his 173 in 2010-11. Kulemin remained a key part of the team though, playing a smart, physical, two-way game, while taking very few penalties.
Nevertheless, on 2 July 2014, Kulemin left the Leafs after six seasons to sign a four-year free agent contract with the New York Islanders. He was able to somewhat rekindle his offensive touch, scoring 15 goals and 31 points in his first season with New York. On 25 April 2015, Kulemin scored the final NHL game-winning goal at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
In 2015-16, Kulemin dropped back to only 9 goals and 22 points with the Islanders, managing only 92 shots in 81 games. In the playoffs, he added 4 points in 11 games.
Kulemin is married and has two children; his son, Aleks, was born on 20 March 2009, and his daughter was born on 10 February 2012.
Nikolay is currently married to Natasha Kulemin and they live on Long Island, New York.
Regular season and playoffs
|2008–09||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||73||15||16||31||18||—||—||—||—||—|
|2009–10||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||78||16||20||36||16||—||—||—||—||—|
|2010–11||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||82||30||27||57||26||—||—||—||—||—|
|2011–12||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||7||21||28||6||—||—||—||—||—|
|2012–13||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||48||7||16||23||22||7||0||1||1||0|
|2013–14||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||9||11||20||24||—||—||—||—||—|
|2014–15||New York Islanders||NHL||82||15||16||31||21||7||1||1||2||2|
|2015–16||New York Islanders||NHL||81||9||13||22||22||11||1||3||4||2|
|2016–17||New York Islanders||NHL||72||12||11||23||18||—||—||—||—||—|
|2015 Czech Republic|
|World Junior Championships|
|IIHF World U18 Championships|
Honours and awards
- Russian Super League MVP: 2007
- Tampere Cup: 2006
- Česká Pojišťovna Cup: 2006
- Karjala Cup: 2006
- Channel One Cup: 2006
- Russian Super League championship: 2007
- Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Detroit Red Wings – Recap – October 9, 2008 – ESPN
- Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Montreal Canadiens – Recap – March 21, 2009 – ESPN
- Kovalev, Frolov, Zubov and Kulemin added to Olympics squad – Russian National Hockey Team Archived 25 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Leafs sign Kulemin to two-year contract extension". Toronto Sun. 2012-07-20. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
- "Islanders agree to terms with Kulemin". New York Islanders. 2014-07-02. Retrieved 2014-07-02.
- http://www.lighthousehockey.com/2015/4/25/8497303/new-york-islanders-washington-capitals-game. Missing or empty
- "Kulemin first time father". Toronto Sun. 2009-03-21. Retrieved 2010-02-03.
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