Prince George, B.C. – The Prince George Cougars are pleased to announce that 1998-born forward Nikita Popugaev (Moscow, RUS) has been selected by the New Jersey Devils in the fourth round (98th Overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft.
Acquired by the Cougars in a January trade with Moose Jaw, the 6’5”, 202 pound winger is coming off a terrific second season in the Western Hockey League. In 71 games (split with Moose Jaw and Prince George) Popugaev scored 29 goal and 40 assists for 69 points. He added eight power play goals, 69 penalty minutes and finished with a +12 rating. In 141 career WHL games he has tallied 45 goals and 71 assists for 116 points. In 12 career playoff games he’s added three goals and four assists for seven points.
“First of all we want to congratulate Nikita and his family on reaching this milestone together,” said Cougars General Manager, Todd Harkins. “The New Jersey Devils are getting a terrific talent who has the size, skill and work-ethic necessary to be an impact offensive player in the National Hockey League for many years to come. We’re very excited for him and we wish him the very best as he prepares for his first NHL Training Camp in the fall.”
Popugaev is the second Cougar ever to be selected by the Devils in the history of the franchise (Chris Mason, 1995).