Photos: Sean Flynn Photography/Quad City Mallards
The Quad City Mallards have signed forward Vladimir Nikiforov and have re-signed forward Logan Nelson, the Mallards announced today.
Nikiforov, 27, returns to the Mallards after first playing for the team in 2013-14. The 5’ 7”, 170-pound Hauppauge, New York native scored 14 goals and added 31 assists for 45 points in his first campaign with the Mallards.
“We’re very glad to bring back Vladi because he is an exciting player who is both a skilled playmaker and a goal scorer,” said Mallards coach and general manager Terry Ruskowski. “He is a threat every time he is on the ice and someone who we’re going to count on for production this season.”
Nikiforov spent last season in Europe playing for 1. EV Weiden in Germany, Orlik Opole in Poland and the Coventry Blaze in the United Kingdom. He piled up 14 goals, 22 assists and 36 points in 30 games over his three stops.
Over his seven year career Nikiforov has scored 100 goals, registered 165 assists and totaled 265 points in 359 regular season games.
Last season was Nikiforov’s second in Europe. In 2012-13, he scored ten goals and notched six assists for 16 points in 45 games in Russia with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.
Nikiforov returns to the ECHL with the Mallards after spending the bulk of his first three professional seasons in the league. Nikiforov skated for the Utah Grizzlies as a rookie in 2008-09 and again in 2009-10 before splitting time among the Florida Everblades, Bakersfield Condors and Reading Royals in 2010-11. The following season saw him suit up for both the Central Hockey League’s Bloomington Blaze and the Federal Hockey League’s Brooklyn Aviators.
Nikiforov has also seen action in the American Hockey League. He scored once and collected four assists in 19 games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in 2008-09.
Nikiforov played three seasons in the major junior Ontario Hockey League with the Barrie Colts and Sarnia Sting before turning pro. In 2006-07, he helped the Colts to a first place finish in the OHL’s Eastern Conference. In all, Nikiforov rang up 63 goals, 110 assists and 173 points in 179 OHL games.
Nelson, 21, scored 16 goals and recorded 12 assists for 28 points in 43 games with the Mallards as a rookie last season. Nelson, who scored 15 times and picked up six assists in just his final 26 games, was acquired in a trade with the Rapid City Rush shortly after the start of last season.
“Logan did a good job last season and became an important player for us,” said Ruskowski. “Once he adjusted to the pro game and fought through some injuries he was a consistently dangerous scorer. We’re looking forward to seeing him work hard to take another step forward in his second season.”
The 6’ 1”, 186-pound Nelson produced 60 goals and 68 assists for 128 points in 179 games over three junior seasons with the Western Hockey League’s Victoria Royals. The Rogers, Minnesota, native spent the 2010-11 season with the United States Hockey League’s Des Moines Buccaneers before heading north of the border. Nelson was selected by the Buffalo Sabres in the fifth round of the 2012 National Hockey League Entry Draft with the one hundred thirty-third choice.
Mallards 2015-16 season tickets are now available. Season ticket holders enjoy significant savings of the walk-up ticket price and receive a host of exclusive benefits. For more season ticket information, fans can contact the Mallards at 309-277-1364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.