All Crunch fans are pretty much thankful for one thing this November: Nikita Kucherov.
Seems the AHL as a league is pretty thankful for him, too.
As highlighted in this past weekend's Crunch entry, Kucherov is the anchor on the one of the AHL's most potent lines. The his work in October (15 points, 8g, 7a) practically forced the league to give him the Rookie of the Month award. Now Kucherov has been voted the AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Nov. 3, 2013.
From the Crunch's official release:
Syracuse, NY - The American Hockey League has named Syracuse Crunch forward Nikita Kucherov as the CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Nov. 3, 2013.
Kucherov moved atop the AHL leaderboards by totaling nine points (5g, 4a) in three games last week and extended his scoring streak to seven games.
On Wednesday night in Albany, Kucherov scored two power-play goals 69 seconds apart in the first period, then assisted on a pair of third-period goals to lead Syracuse to a 4-1 victory. On Friday, he again tallied two goals and two assists - his third four-point game of the season - before scoring in the shootout to help the Crunch to a come-from-behind 5-4 win over Rochester. And Saturday, Kucherov scored again and took a game-high nine shots on goal in Syracuse's 4-2 loss to Binghamton, finishing the week with a point on nine of the Crunch's 10 non-shootout goals.
A second-round draft pick by Tampa Bay in 2011, Kucherov leads the AHL with 11 goals and is tied for first with 20 points in 10 games for Syracuse. His six power-play goals and 11 power-play points are also tops in the league. Last season, the 20-year-old rookie played junior hockey in the QMJHL, totaling 29 goals and 34 assists for 63 points in just 33 games between Quebec and Rouyn-Noranda. A native of Maykop, Russia, Kucherov represented his country in the World Junior Championships, winning a silver medal in 2012 and bronze in 2013.
In recognition of his achievement, Kucherov will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Crunch home game.
Lightning fans hoping to get a glimpse of the Russian Wonder will probably still have a bit to wait, according to the Post Standard today. This is great new for the Crunch, as their top line is pretty much the only line producing right now.