On Tuesday, August 10th, the Kansas City Mavericks announced the re-signing of forward Nick Pastujov for the upcoming season.
Last year, the Bradenton, FL native played in 49 games, amassing 25 points on eight goals and 17 assists. With Pastujov, the Mavericks have locked up a young talented forward who is projected to have a high ceiling. Pastujov played junior hockey with the United States National Team Development Program (USNTDP) and was a member of the U.S. National U17 and U18 teams respectively.
In 2015-16, he competed in the U18 World Junior Championship, where he earned a bronze medal and scored four points in seven games. Nick was drafted by the New York Rangers in the seventh round (193rd overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
After being drafted, he went on to an impressive collegiate career with the University of Michigan, where he competed with his brother, Michael. In four seasons with the Wolverines, Nick, in 136 games, racked up 60 points on 25 goals and 35 assists. Playing in the Division I hockey program, he was an integral part of Michigan’s power play, and in 2019-20, racked up six, tying for fifth in the Big Ten in power play goals.
As a result of his success, Pastujov received an invitation from the New York Islanders to their prospect development camp. Following a stint with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (now the Bridgeport Islanders) in the American Hockey League, Pastujov landed with the Mavericks for 2020-21.
Having joined the hockey club on February 16th, the 23-year-old quickly started making an impact. He scored his first pro goal in his fourth game with Kansas City as part of a 3-1 win over the opposing Tulsa Oilers. The lefty provides high-end talent, with an effective shot while demonstrating his speed. Talents like Pastujov are difficult time come by in the ECHL, which makes the signing all the more impressive.
Going into his second professional season, he is most definitely a player to keep an eye on, as he could be poised for an explosive breakout year.