It’s a bit of a thinker why 4th year pro Vladimir Nikiforov(9) decided to sign to play with Brooklyn Aviators of the 2nd year Federal Hockey League (FHL) for the 2011/2012 season.
In 10 games, he’s put up a mighty 9 goals and 11 assists; not bad for a pint-sized 5’8″ 170 lbs forward.
Last season he had a pretty ragtag year playing with three different ECHL teams but never able to getting into a scoring groove. In two previous seasons, he posted some impressive numbers with Utah Grizzlies.
He was recently recalled to help Central Hockey League‘s last place Bloomington Blaze and did just that. In his first game with the team, they won against the league’s best team, Allen Americans and he put up an assist.
It’s quite possible that he may have just found his new team for this season.
12/1: Nikiforov scores a natural hat-trick for the Blaze in the last place team’s beating of first place in the Central Hockey League, Evansville IceMen. In two games, he has 5 points. There was just no way he is going back to the single A level.
12/5: Nikiforov is named Central Hockey League’s Oakley Player of the Week with his 5 goals and 1 assist in his league debut.
Original story: 11/29-11
He would finish the season with Bloomington Blaze scoring 21 goals and 30 assists for 51 points in 51 games.
For 2012/2013 he moved on to join the Russian KHL development sort of league VHL signing with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl-2.
He played a full 45 game season along with 5 games in the postseason but only connected for 10 goals and 6 assists.
Maybe his experience overseas led him back or whatever but for 2013/2014 he decided to return to the former Central Hockey League to skate with Quad City Mallards.
He skated 63 games and managed to regain his scoring mojo setting a new assist mark at 31.
To follow up another good season in North America he decided it was once again time to split for a different shore and he inked a term in Germany’s DEL3 with Blue Devils Wieden but blew up the score sheet with 6 goals and 11 assists in 10 games and he sacked that deal and was off to Poland suiting up for Orlik Opole.
He lasted there 13 games, two months and left netting 8 goals and 7 helpers.
Next it was off to England’s EIHL to play out the season with Coventry Blaze and his 1 goal and 3 assists in 7 games was like the wind had been taken out of his sails from all the traveling.
Going into his 8th pro season, the soon-to-be 28-year old returns to Quad City Mallards but moves up a level of hockey to the ECHL, where he last played games in 2011.
Our money’s on him producing big.