NHL Draft 2014: Montreal Canadiens select Nikita Scherbak with No. 26 overall pick

Derek Leung

The 18-year-old recorded 78 points with the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL last season.

The Montreal Canadiens have selected forward prospect Nikita Scherbak with the No. 26 overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.

Scherbak, 18, is a left-handed shooting forward who has spent time at left wing and played for the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League during the 2013-14 season. Selected with the No. 109 overall selection in the 2013 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft, Scherbak had spent the 2012-13 season with the Kapitan Stupino of the Russian Junior Hockey League (MHL) and recorded 14 points in 50 games (seven goals and seven assists).

He registered dramatically increased totals with Saskatoon, scoring 28 goals and 50 assists for a total of 78 points in 65 games. Those totals led all rookies in the WHL last season and helped establish Scherbak as a potential first-round caliber prospect.

Listed at 6'1, 175 pounds, Scherbak ranked as the No. 27 overall prospect in the ISS yearend report. The ISS was impressed by his ability to quickly adapt to the North American style of play and praised his offensive talent:

Scherbak has shown incredible offensive development over the course of a year and adapted to the North American style of game nearly seamlessly. He is a fantastic skater with great quick cuts and excellent edge control. He protects the puck very well and is very elusive off the boards or at speed. He applies very good pressure on the forecheck and while he is not overly physical, the speed that he can attack with tends to force opposition players to make mistakes consistenly. He is very adept at finding loose pucks around the net and shows a great touch with the puck in tight and highly contested areas of the ice. Scherbak knows where to go to get the opportunities he wants.

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