|Credit: La Presse|
An intelligent hockey player who has shown to be very coachable and liked by his teammates, Scherbak is blessed with strong skating abilities, a creative vision and a willingness to engage physically in puck battles along the boards and at both ends of the rink. A quick learner, the 18-year-old winger already speaks English very well, despite having played only one season in Western Canada, and the personable youngster is already a favorite of the media and fans alike.
The 6'2'', 182-lb forward who is currently in Montreal for the team's development camp, skated on a line with Christian Thomas and Daniel Audette on Monday.
"It's very hard, a lot of pressure, a lot of people watching, but I'm alright right now," Scherbak told reporters after the second day of the Canadiens development camp in Brossard, Quebec. "It's hard work and we'll see," said Scherbak. "I can't say I already know (who will make the roster), it's the coaches' opinion… It's a big pressure for me, but I'm trying to play next season, I'll try everything to make it to the NHL."While his ultimate goal is to play in the NHL next season, he is realistic that he will probably head back to Saskatoon next year to polish his overall game and mature as a hockey player. While Scherbak is pretty confident about his offensive play, he acknowledges that he needs to work on his defensive game and his body strength to improve his game along the boards and in one-on-one battles.
The right-winger, whose childhood idol is Pavel Datsyuk, has a pretty similar style of play to that of teammate Alex Galchenyuk. Both players have such a similar build and stature that they almost look like clones when you watch them on the ice from afar. They also both wear the same number 27.
A vibrant person who is known to talk aplenty on road trips, Scherbak has been taking English lessons and learning fast. Saskatoon head coach Dave Struch jokes: “On the five or six-hour bus trips he sits four seats behind us (coaches) and that’s all you can hear, him talking the whole way.” Scherbak is already saying a few words in French such as "Bonjour", "Merci" and "Comment ça va?" which is already more than most current Habs players.
You can also watch his first Q&A that he did earlier today for the Montreal Canadiens on YouTube:
For a more in-depth look at Nikita Scherbak, have a look at this excellent player profile by Ryan Pike of The Hockey Writers: Nikita Scherbak – The Next Ones: 2014 NHL Draft Prospect Profile
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