Nikolai Zherdev is a forward with the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets. Born in Moscow, Russia, he played for the famed CSKA hockey team. Drafted 4th overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, he was refused admission to North America by the Russian Ice Hockey Federation, because of his calibre of play, and the amount of money they wanted for his release. Finally allowed to join his team in December, 2003, he began showing why the Blue Jackets drafted him, scoring 13 goals and adding 21 assists for 34 points in 57 games.
Due to the NHL Lockout, Zherdev has spent the 2004-05 season with his former club, CSKA Moscow, in Russia. Through 30 games, he's racked up 26 points (12-14).
Categories: Russian ice hockey players | Columbus Blue Jackets players
The NHL permitted Columbus Blue Jackets rookie NikolaiZherdev to play Tuesday night against Anaheim even though the International Ice Hockey Federation has not approved his transfer on the contention that Zherdev is trying to avoid his military obligation.
But he said Zherdev, 19, was allowed to play because the league received no significant evidence to support the contention he's in the Russian army or was obligated to join.
At 19, NikolaiZherdev is eligible to represent Russia in the upcoming IIHF World U20 Championship in Finland (December 26, 2003 January 5, 2004).
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