Nikita Kucherov’s Assist Numbers Shows his Evolving Game

(Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images) /

Nikita Kucherov will be entering his 10th year with the Tampa Bay Lightning next season and will hit the 30-year-old mark. Despite the miles he has put on himself, he still has shown his ability to score at a high rate.

This past season, the right winger finished with 113 points. Out of those points, 30 were goals, and 83 were assists. It was the highest assist total he has had in any of his seasons.

In fact, he had only cracked 60+ assists in two of his seasons (2017-18, 2018-19). It was great to see that Kucherov was spreading the pucks to his teammates, setting up multiple opportunities to score.

The seven-time all-star has always been a great scorer for the Lightning. He has six 30+ goal seasons in his nine years with the Bolts. He was a major go-to scorer in Tampa Bay’s back-to-back cup runs with 15 goals and also had 8 in the following year, where the Bolts fell to the Avalanche in the final.

He is one of the best one-timer players in hockey with great accuracy and power from the wing and has phenomenal stick-handling that sets up shots from atop the offensive zone.

Tampa Bay Lightning: “Shoot the puck”

His puck-sharing ability may be to the chagrin of those that want him to shoot more, but  Kucherov’s assist numbers show how much of a team player and catalyst he can be for the Lightning’s offense.

It was apparent as well in the playoff series against the Maple Leafs. Although it was a quiet series for him, all of his points (3) were assists. Despite the quiet round, Kucherov has the most playoff points in this decade with 160.

Going forward, Kucherov can continue to be the great soccer the league knows him as. But he also can use the momentum from this season to be a great catalyst in helping his teammates get good looks at the net at a high rate.

Related Story. Five backup goalie options for 2023-24. light