Nikita Kucherov is a Russian professional Ice Hockey player who has made a name for himself in the sport of hockey. He is undoubtedly one of the most adored athletes in Russia, known for his amazing prowess, vigorous attack, and powerful shots — a star in a top franchise in the National Hockey League. A player with a warm character and appealing charisma, fans never seem to get enough of skilful Nikita doing what he knows how to do best on the ice. We provide in-depth details into the rise of Nikita Kucherov to the summit of the Hockey sport in his biography facts, childhood, career and personal life.
Nikita Kucherov Biography Facts
|Full Name:||Nikita Igorevich Kucherov|
|Nickname:||The Russian Rifle, Kuch|
|Born:||17 June 1993 (age 26)|
|Place of Birth:||Maykop, Russia|
|Occupation:||Ice Hockey Player|
|NHL Draft:||2011 (58th Overall) Tampa Bay Lightning|
|Current Team:||Tampa Bay Lightning|
|Net Worth:||$20 million|
|Height:||5 ft 11 in|
|Weight:||170 lb (77 kg)|
|Parents:||Igor Kucherov (father); Svetlana Kucherova (mother)|
|Social Media:||Twitter, Instagram|
Nikita Kucherov Childhood & Early Life
Kucherov was born in the Russian town of Maykop to Igor Kucherov and Svetlana Kucherova. His father was a soldier who served in Uruguay, so he was always away from home on a regular basis. At age seven, Kucherov’s mother went on to Uruguay to stay with her husband, leaving her young son behind with her mother. She visited Kucherov once in a year, during those visits, she cried when she saw her son.
Kucherov started out as a footballer but was introduced to the hockey by his father.
Nikita Kucherov Professional Career
Kucherov began playing professional hockey in his country of birth, Russia. He played for CSKA Moscow in the Kontinental Hockey League. But before then, he played for the Sliver Sharks and White Bears. Kucherov moved to North America, where he learnt English while playing major junior hockey. He played in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.
Tampa Bay Lightning (2012–date)
In the 2011 NHL draft, Kucherov was selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning as its 58th overall pick. On September 10, 2012, he signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
In November 2013, Kucherov became the seventh Tampa Bay Lightning player to score a goal in his NHL debut.
In October 2014, Kucherov recorded his first hat-trick in a game against the Arizona Coyotes. The 2014/15 season proved to be a remarkable one for Kucherov as he registered 29 goals, 36 assists and 65 points. He ranked second in the NHL for goals scored in the playoffs. He finished the season as the top Lightning player in points with 66 points and second in goals with 30 and 36 assists.
In October 2016 Kucherov signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning a three year deal with a salary that averages $4.766 million per season.
Kucherov was named to the 2017 NHL All-star game with the Atlantic team division. He also went on to score his 85th goal which made him the 10th player with the most goals in franchise history. The next month saw Kucherov register his 200th points with the Lightning as well as his second career hat trick. His hat trick made him to the ninth player with the most goals in the Lightning history. In March 2017, Kucherov moved up to the eighth player with the most goals in franchise history after he recorded his 99th goal for the Lightning. That month, Kucherov also registered his 100th NHL career goal. He also stepped up his game, which earned him a place in the Tempa Bay Lightning 40 elite club after he recorded 40 goals in a season. He thus became the only 23-years-old or younger Russian player with 40 goals in a season. His remarkable performance earned him a place in the 2016/17 NHL All-star second team.
At the start of the 2017/18 season, Kucherov became the first Tempa Bay Lightning player to register a goal in the first 5 matches of the season. He further went on to grab his 112th goal as a Lightning player, which moved him to the 7th position in the ranks of players with most goals in the franchise history. Kucherov went on to become the first player in the modern era to record at least a goal in the seven consecutive games at the start of a season. On November 10, Kucherov topped the NHL goal-scoring table. Kucherov also registered his 128th game for the lightning, which made him the 6th player with the most goals in the franchise history.
In January 2018, Kucherov was named to the NHL All-Star games. By October 2018, he had already recorded 146 career goals which moved him up to the 5th player with the most goals in the history of the Tampa Bay Lightning. On December 1, Kucherov recorded 3-points which brought his NHL career points to 372, the sixth-highest in the Lightning history.
On January 2, 2019, Kucherov earned his third successive NHL All-Star selection after he was named to the 2019 NHL All-Star Game. The next month saw Kucherov earn his 245th NHL career assist, which made him the sixth player with the most assist in franchise history. Kucherov continued in his excellent form as he went on to set a Lightning record for most points in a season with 109 points. At the end of the regular season, Kucherov had registered 128 points, making him the most points by a Russian born player. Kucherov also became the player with the highest point in the NHL for the 2018/19 season. As a result, he was awarded the Art Ross award. In June 2019, Kucherov was given the Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award at the 2019 NHL Awards for his exceptional performance in the 2018/19 season.
National Team Career
Kucherov is a regular in the Russian hockey side. In 2016, he was named to the Russian roster for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey along with other Tempa Bay Lightning teammates.
In 2017, Kucherov led the Russian side to win bronze at the 2017 World Hockey Championship.
Nikita Kucherov Personal Life
- Kucherov is known to keep his personal life away from the media.
- His parents still live in Maykop.
- Kucherov has a multi-year endorsement deal with athletics brand Adidas.
- He is an active figure on social media, with about 20,000 followers on Twitter, and 198,000 on Instagram.
Nikita Kucherov Highlights, Awards & Honours
- All-Star Game (2011)
- Plus-Minus Award (2015)
- NHL All-Star (2017, 2018, 2019)
- Second All-Star Team (2017)
- First All-Star Team (2018, 2019)
- Art Ross Trophy (2019)
- Ted Lindsay Award (2019)
- Hart Memorial Trophy (2019)
- U18 First Team All-Star (2011)
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