32-Year-Old Right Wing – Free Agent
Nikolay Zherdev Contract Information:
Signed a two-year contract with Atlant Mytishchi of the KHL in July 2011.
Zherdev has agreed to a two-year contract to return to the KHL, Renaud Lavoie of RDS reports.
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Nikolay Zherdev: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Nikolay Zherdev.
After returning to the NHL from one year in Russia, Zherdev is headed back to the KHL on a two-year deal with Atlant Mytishchi, the same team he left the NHL for in 2009. Zherdev had 22 points in 56 games for the Flyers last season.
There's not doubting Zherdev's talent, but it's unclear just what his motivations are. If it's money - and the fact that he played in the KHL of Russia last season when no NHL team would meet his demands would suggest that - he should have no trouble gearing up for his first season in Philly. Zherdev posted back-to-back 20-plus goal season with 35 assists before departing for Russia and now he's back on a one-year deal. The 25-year old will have plenty incentive to prove to the entire that he's worth a big-time investment, and he joins a team with plenty of talent. He might not tally 25 goals, but there's enough scorers around him that his assist totals could be very attractive come year end. He's motivated, yet enigmatic - though his previous outputs (and strong season in the KHL) would suggest that his talent is enough to provide for fantasy owners.
He had his best season ever last year, scoring 26 goals and 35 assists for 61 points in 82 games with Columbus. If he can blossom into the stud he was once projected to be, the Rangers will have gotten a steal of a deal. He should play on the first line.
Zherdev has as much talent as any player on the Blue Jackets’ roster. He has electric speed and stick handling ability, and at times can remind observers of a larger version of Pavel Bure. However, Zherdev has had major difficulty adjusting to the NHL, and seemed to struggle even more under Hitchcock’s tough-nosed coaching style. The Blue Jackets are starved for skill players and don’t have the luxury of doing anything with Zherdev other than giving him another chance, but unless he turns his career around quickly he seems destined to be another Russian NHL bust.
An 11th hour signing kept Zherdev in a Blue Jackets uniform for '06-'07. The electric winger set career highs with 27 goals and 54 points last season, but that just scratches the surface of his potential. Don't be surprised if he breaks out for 75+ points.
Zherdev had a more than acceptable 34 points in his first season in North America, and should easily top that number this time around. He's got absolutely electric talent, and should see plenty of power play time alongside Nash -- 20 goals and 50 points could be a conservative estimate.