by Taylor McIlwaine , Digital Media Producer, All Habs Hockey Magazine
TORONTO, ON — Promising Montreal Canadiens prospect, Nikita Scherbak has some ideas about who he would put in his NHL starting lineup, and they might surprise you!
For the St. John’s IceCaps, the 2016 Easter long weekend was spent rounding off a 14-day road trip, their last of the regular season. The team came to Toronto to face off against the Marlies in two games of good ol’ fashioned rivalry hockey. While they lost both games in the big city, 20-year-old Nikita Scherbak continued to show promising strides in his career, showing off some of that signature stick work and posting an assist.
The first round draft pick continues to clock big time minutes with the IceCaps, showcasing impressive puck handling and sly pivots, all the while, improving on his defensive play. His potential keeps growing in tandem with his determination and passion to be a top NHL forward.
After taking to Twitter and Facebook to collect some of your questions, I caught up with the Moscow-native in Toronto to get you some answers, and they definitely did not disappoint.
On Saturday afternoon, you played at the ACC and on Monday night you went to an NBA game at the ACC. How did you like watching the Raptors? Did you have good seats? — Jason (Markham, ON.) via Facebook
Scherbak: I was excited, really, I like basketball a lot! It’s one of my favourite sports, because my mom used to play. So, about seats…[laughs] it wasn’t really good seats, I mean, it was on top, in the 300s. So, the guys made jokes on me in the morning, saying I watched from the CN tower, but I mean, that was my first experience, so I was really excited, and I [got the chance] to see Durant and Westbrook, they [are some] of my favourite players in the NBA, so it was really nice.
@IceCapsReport What music plays in the locker room before a game? #AskAnIceCap
— Louis-Gilbert (@Louis_Gilbert) March 25, 2016
Scherbak: My music, actually, I put my music. Last couple of games, the boys give me a chance […] I don’t like, I’m not a big fan of country, so I like more techno and rap so yeah we’re listening to rap and techno before we go on the ice.
Describe the atmosphere of the dressing room: after a win and after a loss.
Scherbak: Well, it’s always tough, I mean, like when you lose the game and no one [is] happy, right? Because, obviously you’re trying, you put effort and something doesn’t go well so a bit more quiet after games. We try and just, I don’t know, try and forget right away that game, what happened on the ice.
And, obviously, when we win the game we’re all happy and we’re all smiling and it’s fun, you know, it’s fun to win!
What is your favorite thing to do when you are on the bus/plane? Play cards? Listen to music? Read? Sleep? — Amanda (Seattle, WA.) via Facebook
Scherbak: That’s a tough one, I don’t know. Try and get sleep maybe, but usually I can’t sleep on the bus or plane. I can’t sleep when I am sitting down so I try to play games on my iPhone or iPad or wherever. Watch a movie on the plane and listening to music.
Scherbak: A lot! I miss junior, I miss my junior career a lot, because it was so much fun. All the guys and the fans too, you know, it was crazy, especially in Everett. We had a good team, good year and uh, the crowd was good at those games so I was excited to play there, especially games against Seattle, it was sold out so it was awesome, I miss it a lot!
2/2 #Habs Pacioretty jokes that 6'6" Mike McCarron probably has never shaved in his life. @MacAttackUSA93 confirms he shaves every 3 weeks.
— John Lu (@JohnLuTSNMtl) March 12, 2016
Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty recently joked that, “(Mike) McCarron probably has never shaved in his life.” When asked McCarron said that he shaves every three weeks. So Bobby, from Montreal, had to know..
Scherbak: I’m not a huge beard guy [laughs], so I don’t know, probably like same, yeah three weeks, maybe a month. I am not mustache guy, or not crazy beard guy so yeah, around three weeks too.
Scherbak: That’s a really tough one. I don’t know, if I were to be coach, I would, well first of all, I would take [Carey] Price in net, for sure, that’s 100 per cent. On defense, I would put Erik Karlsson and let’s say, Drew Doughty and forward would be [Sidney] Crosby, Jamie Benn and, uh, let’s take a Russian… let’s take [Pavel] Datsyuk!
Scherbak: I’ll be honest, it doesn’t…it’s a tough one. I played a lot on the wing, basically all my career and this year, I start centre and I like it alot. I don’t know, I think I rather play centre now, like after a couple games playing centre, I would like to play centre.
Scherbak: Oh, I don’t know that’s tough. I mean all guys talented, to play on this team, in this league, you have to be talented and you have to be, you have to work hard. […] Obviously, the older guys, but maybe most talented, I would say Charles Hudon. I really like how he plays and the way, the skill he has, so I really like him.
#AskAnIceCap What do you miss most about home?
— stanley cup champion lars eller (@whatadani) March 28, 2016
Scherbak: Everything! I dont know, my parents, my friends. Just the atmosphere and my culture and just the city. I mean, I am born there, and I [haven’t] been there in a long time so I’m really excited to go back. [I miss] my parents a lot, I didn’t see them for awhile.
#AskAnIceCap Least favorite exercise during workouts/training?
— stanley cup champion lars eller (@whatadani) March 28, 2016
Scherbak: [Laughs] Probably, no, I like to jump, jumping, maybe over something, on something. I don’t know, maybe bench press [laughs]. Let’s say bench press, I am not good at that any way, so…
What is your plan/schedule for the off-season? Randy (Waterloo, Ontario) via Facebook
Scherbak: So I will go home, back [to] Moscow, right away, I think, and we’ll see from that. I need to make a new Visa and stuff so we’ll see. Ill go home first and I’ll decide after that. Go and hang out with my parents a lot, try and see all of my friends, which is a lot of friends, I didn’t see them for 3 years and maybe go for a vacation somewhere, we will see, we will figure [it out]!
Thank you for sending us your questions! Missed out? Be sure to follow along with us on social media @IceCapsReport, @AllHabs and @TaylorOliviaMc so it never happens again. Meanwhile, we can’t wait to see what the future holds for the promising career of Nikita Scherbak!
Listen to Nikita Scherbak answer fan questions here: