Benn has posted 37 points (15 goals, 22 assists) in the first 42 games of 2013-14 season
- Nichuskin has 9 goals and 13 assists in his first 41 NHL games
It was announced yesterday that three Dallas Stars have been named to their respective home country’s Olympic hockey teams for the upcoming Winter Games in Sochi, Russia (hockey runs Feb. 12-23)- forward Jamie Benn for team Canada, goalie Kari Lehtonen for team Finland and forward Val Nichuskin for team Russia. Benn and Nichuskin are line mates and many thought their third linemate Tyler Seguin had a legit shot at making team Canada as well, and completing the trifecta for the Stars top trio (Seguin is currently 8th in the league in goals scored at 21).
But as usual in international competition, someone deserving always gets left behind, and in this case its the Stars talented 21-year-old winger. Nichuskin has to be considered the surprise pick of the three just due to the fact of his young age (18) and lack of of experience, but playing on the big stage (or rink as you will) will only help progress his maturation with the Stars.
“The Dallas Stars are extremely proud of Jamie, Kari and Valeri for being selected to participate at the Olympic Games,” said Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill. “It is a tremendous honor to represent one’s country at the highest international stage and their experience at the Games will be invaluable for our own team as we approach the most competitive portion of our season.”
Stars head coach Lindy Ruff will also serve as an associate coach in Sochi, the same position he held for team Canada when they won gold in Vancouver in 2010.