Colorado Avalanche re-sign Val Nichushkin
Colorado Avalanche re-signed Val Nichushkin to a two year $2.5 million AAV. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

After re-signing Andre Burakovsky earlier in the day, the Colorado Avalanche have brought back Val Nichushkin.

Nichushkin has re-signed with the Colorado Avalanche on a two-year deal worth $2.5 million Average Annual Value (AAV). Nichushkin signed with the Avalanche last off-season as an unrestricted free agent after having his contract bought out by the Dallas Stars.

Despite being a top ten pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, Nichushkin failed to breakthrough with the Stars. In his first year (2013-14), he put up 34 points over 79 games, but injuries hindered his progression in the 2014-15 season as he played only eight games. The forward ended up going back to Russia to play in the KHL with CSKA Moscow before returning to Dallas for the 2018-19 season. In 57 games, he recorded only 10 points and zero goals.

Instead of qualifying Nichushkin as a restricted free agent last offseason, the Dallas Stars instead decided to buy him out, leaving him free to join the Colorado Avalanche on a two-way contract. After being a healthy scratch for four games, last October, Nichushkin became a regular with the Avalanche. He also scored his first NHL goal in 92 games against the Toronto Maple Leafs in November.

Nichushkin tallied 27 points last regular season, and his 13 goals were one shy of his career-best. The underlying numbers also showed him to be one of the best forwards both offensively and defensively the NHL. The forward ended with a +26 plus/minus rating, which put him tied fourth in NHL forwards. At even strength, the Avalanche let in only 20 goals with Nichushkin on the ice, while scoring 45 at the other end.

“Valeri played important minutes for us this season and had one of the best years of his careerHe is a big, young winger who provides depth scoring, can play up and down our lineup, and is reliable defensively. We’re happy to have him back for another two seasons.”

Joe Sakic on the re-signing of Val Nichushkin