There has been no shortage of great defenseman who have debuted this season. Young Russian defenseman Dmitry Kulikov is part of that list. He was drafted 14th overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft and quickly made the jump to the NHL. Although he's playing for an under-manned Florida Panthers team at the age of 19, he is proving himself to be a star of the future.
In 2008-09, Kulikov experienced his first year of North American hockey. He tended the blue line for Drummondville Voltigeurs of the QMJHL and tallied 12 goals and 62 points in only 57 games. In addition to his superb hockey sense and confidence, Kulikov is smooth enough on his skates and can thread the needle with soft passes. He will only get better as he ages and the Panthers improve.
Dmitry Kulikov is 4th in defenseman scoring in the NHL this season with 3 goals and 9 assists in 36 games and even leads #2 overall pick Victor Hedman. Kulikov was supposed to appear with Team Russia for the World Junior Hockey Championships however he is currently dealing with an injured knee. Kulikov's absence will be a hard blow for Team Russia to take and will hurt their chances for competing for the gold medal.
Dmitry Kulikov has cards available in various In The Game products and rookie cards in many 2009-10 Upper Deck products available at Canada Card World.