Nikita Gusev Profile
2009-10: Gusev was one of the MHL top players with CSKA Moscow’s junior team and played very well on the international stage too, even if the coaches surprisingly decided not to call him for the U18s in spite of his great chemistry with other national team member Sergei Barbashev.
Nikita Gusev is a very fast player which plays a typical Russian style. He likes to play a finesse kind of game, leaving thus more than a question mark about the translation of his style to North America. He makes thing happen with his excellent speed. If left unchecked in the neutral zone he has all it takes to get on a breakaway and trick out the goalie with one of his fancy moves. He can be lethal on breakaways and his speed and technique might force defensemen to play more deep in the own zone. He has also a very good reading of the ice, even if he isn’t a pure playmaker. Unfortunately he doesn’t tie his offensive skills with an equal defensive ability. He needs to be less passive back in the zone and has to keep his feet moving even if the other team has the puck. Gusev also needs to fill his frame as now he isn’t physically ready to play pro hockey.
Having an active contract with CSKA Moscow most likely he won’t be picked in the first three or four rounds at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, but he has the skills to earn a selection as North American scouts have surely appreciated his excellent play at the World Junior A Challenge in November 2009.
The way you play is important - not your age.Nikita Gusev on September 14, 2009 @ Cska-Hockey.ru