Nichushkin will be replaced by Lane MacDermaid in the starting lineup, which will mark MacDermaid's first appearance this season. Taken with the No. 13 overall selection in the 2013 NHL Draft, Nichushkin has registered one shot in four appearances this season and has yet to record a point. Heika notes that this will give Nichushkin an opportunity to observe the game and take a step back.
This is yet another instance of a first-round pick being a healthy scratch in recent weeks, as Buffalo Sabres forward Mikhail Grigorenko and Edmonton Oilers forward Nail Yakupov have both spent time in the press box in recent contests.
This is a common occurrence with a developing player, and as Defending Big D notes, is not a huge deal:
After a great Traverse City tournament and a productive training camp it looked like it might just come easily for him, with the requisite bumps along the way paid for by offense. There's been no offense, however, nor any real generation of chances.
In the KHL he could use his natural gifts to generate. Here he's finding out that it's a lot harder, and it will take some time. It's OK. He's 18 stinking years old.