Nikita Lopatin is an extremely difficult to play against says head coach Frankie Scarpaci. He is quick, explosive and drives to the offensive zone. He battles so well along the boards and is never afraid to get to the dirty areas to score goals and garner scoring opportunities.
Anyone scouting Nikita will echo how hard and accurate his shot is. It is pro level. Coach Scarpaci says his shot is incredible especially when you think he is of such a young age -1999. In fact even though he is 25th in scoring in the USPHL Elite he is in fact the highest scoring 1999 in the league. Moreover in goals scored he is #13th in the league – again number 1 as a 1999 and as rookie in the USPHL Elite and in the USPHL Premier division.
This young man comes to us with an incredible and untiring work ethic. He arrives early each day and comes back to the rink after 1 ½ hours of ice practice and 1 ½ hours of off - ice strength and conditioning training and then shoots 200 pucks per day. He never takes a day off. Literally he is at the rink 7 days per week in games and practices. The fruits of his efforts have been realized in each game. Look at his record this year:
He has played in 39 games. He scored 23 goals and notched 25 assists garnering a total of 48 points. He has 6 power play goals and 1 short-handed goal. Now that is productive. He is very disciplined with a minimal of 13 penalties.
What is so incredible is he plays with such maturity and fortitude. He makes very smart plays in all 3 zones. He clearly has a high hockey IQ. Remember he is only a 1999. Most 1999 players find themselves on the USP3 teams. Nikita was able to secure an Elite spot and every time he steps on the ice he solidifies his position. Coach Frankie Scarpaci says Nikita has set an all time record for Eels rookies with 23 goals 25 assists 48 points and is crushing this year’s rookies in the Elite and Premier level.