The newest member of the Vancouver Canucks is a man of few words. In English, at least. Nikolay Goldobin conducted a brief conference call with the Vancouver hockey media the morning after he was acquired along with a conditional draft pick for Jannik Hansen. In broken English with a thick Russian accent, the 21-year-old indicated he was excited to get a chance to show what he can do at the National Hockey League level after getting lost on the depth chart of a San Jose team looking to win the Stanley Cup.
“I was kind of upset that I didn’t get a bigger chance, but they try to win the Stanley Cup and they wanted to get an older guy who played a couple of years in the NHL,” Goldobin said from the Bay Area where he’s been playing for the Sharks American Hockey League franchise. “So they got Hansen and he’s a good player.”
Goldobin will join the Canucks for tomorrow’s morning skate and expects to make his debut in a Vancouver uniform against his former club tomorrow night. He has played 11 games for the Sharks over the past two years including a pair of games last month – his only NHL action this season. In his brief career, the 2014 first round draft pick has one goal and one assist. In the AHL this season, Goldobin has registered 15 goals and 41 points in 46 games – third in both categories on his team.
He was acquired to inject offense into a line-up that has just one win (1-4-1) and only 10 goals in its past six games.
“I’m really excited to join them (the Canucks) and kind of nervous for me to play against my (old) team tomorrow,” he says. “I can play both wings. Most of the time, I play left wing but lately I have been playing the right wing and I actually like it.”
Goldobin, who was born in Moscow but claims to have grown up idolizing Sidney Crosby, was a junior hockey teammate of current Canucks forward Reid Boucher when the two played together in Sarnia in 2012-13. While he doesn’t yet know how he’ll be deployed with his new club, he understands the situation the Canucks are in and why they made the move to acquire him.
“I know there are a lot of young players in Vancouver and hopefully I will play with one of them,” he says. “I know it’s a good team. A desperate team.”
And now it’s his new team. And he should have ample opportunity in the 20 games remaining on the Canucks schedule to show what he can do.