IceDogs ink import
The Niagara IceDogs locked up import Danil Gushchin, signing the 2020 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft’s fourth overall selection to a standard player agreement.
Gushchin is the highest pick in IceDogs history in the CHL Import Draft. Previously, the highest selection had been 13th overall in 2017.
The 5-foot-8, 165-pound winger played the past two seasons with the United States Hockey League’s (USHL) Muskegon Lumberjacks. In the 2018-19 season, he scored 16 goals and collected 20 assists in 51 games. This past season, he was more than a point-per-game player, scoring 22 goals and collecting 25 assists in 42 games.
Gushchin has been characterized as an elite scorer who’s able to quickly get to dangerous offensive areas on the ice.
“This is an extremely exciting day for our organization,” Niagara general manager Joey Burke said. “Danil is the type of player who immediately makes your team better. I couldn’t be more excited to officially add him to Niagara.”
Burke feels the addition of Gushchin will accelerate the re-building process.
“We were in a position to be able to draft a talent like Danil, and to get this commitment speaks volumes about where our program currently is, and how serious we are about where we want to be in the near future,” Burke. “Danil brings an extremely dynamic game and does everything at an elite level. He is one of the most pure skilled 2002s on the planet.
“He possesses a great finishing touch, excellent vision and feet, and a complete game away from the puck. He checks every box for our playing style and there is no doubt in my mind he will fit perfectly here”.
Gushchin, who is in his first year of National Hockey League (NHL) draft eligibility, has been ranked 41st amongst North American skaters.
“I’m extremely pleased to have been selected by Niagara and to commit to the IceDogs,” Gushchin said. “This is an excellent organization, and I look forward to getting to know my teammates and putting some wins on the board. I can’t wait to get started.”
The 2002-born Russian, from Yekaterinburg, has represented his country several times: at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge (2017), Hlinka-Gretzky Cup (2018 – bronze medal; 2019 – gold medal), International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) U18 World Championship (2019 – silver medal), World Jr. A Challenge (2019 – gold medal).
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