Jets look to the future by selecting Russian winger Chibrikov in second round of NHL draft

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Author of the article:

Ted Wyman

Winnipeg Jets selected of forward Nikita Chibrikov 50th overall in the second round of the 2021 NHL Draft on Saturday, July 24, 2021. Photo by Handout /Winnipeg Jets Article content

It will be a while before Winnipeg Jets fans get a first-hand look at 2021 second-round draft pick Nikita Chibrikov but it could be well worth the wait.

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The Jets drafted the 18-year-old winger from Moscow on Saturday, looking well into the future to grab a player who combines speed and skill, high-paced puck-handling and a nose for creativity.

He has committed to playing the next two seasons with SKA St. Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League in Russia, but that’s a hindrance to his future with the Jets in Chibrikov’s eyes.

“I need a lot to do to become a good NHL player,” the 5-foot-10, 170-pound Chibrikov said via Zoom from St. Petersburg, where training camp is already underway, on Saturday.

“So my decision is to work in Russia these two years and progression. Now I know Winnipeg picked me so I’m working for the future. But I don’t how it will be yet. Just work and we will see what it will be.”

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