The Preds got to see in round one how valuable of a player Valeri Nichushkin is to the Colorado Avalanche. Nichushkin, who turned 27 in March, is the youngest player on this list. The former top-10 pick is coming off a career year where he had 25 goals and 27 assists (52 points) in 62 games.
Nichushkin uses his 6’4 frame to work his way to the net-front resulting in a large number of high danger scoring chances. His offensive output has continued this postseason where he has seven points in 10 games for the Western Conference Finals bound Avalanche.
Nichushkin is also highly effective in his own end, finishing 8th in Selke voting in the 2019-20 season. This season, Nichushkin has played powerplay, penalty-kill and at times on the top line, showing he can play all situations and excels in the top-6.
Nichushkin’s coming off a two year deal that carried a cap hit of $2.5 million per season, and will be in store for a nice payday this summer.
With the huge increase in offensive output and increased exposure in the Avalanche’s current playoff run, he will likely look for a 3-4 year deal with a yearly cap hit around $4 million. If I am Poile, I am certainly taking a long look at this, Nichushkin would fit well on either of the top two lines for the Preds and with the right center, will continue his high production level.