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Florida Eels Nikita Lopatin from Moscow, Russia Commits to Utica College

By Eels PR, 02/15/18, 4:15PM EST


The Florida Eels are thrilled to report that Nikita Lopatin, from Moscow, Russia, has committed to Utica College’s NCAA Division III hockey program for the 2019 season.

Utica College is one of the most prestigious colleges in the USA.  At the helm of Utica is coach Gary Heenan, who has established Utica as one of the perineal NCAA Division 3 powerhouses in the USA. They play in one of the toughest college conferences, the United Collegiate Hockey Conference UCHA. This year their schedule included games against the USA NTDP U18, Adrian College, SUNY Cortland, Endicott College, Oswego State, Neumann University, and Elmira College and other top ranked men’s college hockey teams.

Nikita joined the Eels in 2016-17 and has been one of the most exciting and electrifying players for the Florida Eels and in the USPHL.  As a rookie he scored 26 goals and tallied 26 assists.  He is a prolific goal scorer and has been one of the USPHL Premier Division leading goal scorers in the league.

This season he was Assistant Captain of the team and has been selected numerous times to Player of the Week in both the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. Aside from those honors, he was chosen by the league coaches last season as a league All Star.

He most recently broke the all-time goal scoring record for the Eels with 62 career goals. This season in 32 games he has 36 goals and 28 assists for 64 points. That is 2 points per game. He is 5th in all time Eels franchise points with 116. He is 1st in Eels All Time Points per game at 1.625.

He is 6’1’ 200 pounds and without a doubt considered amongst the top players in the league. He is a constant threat. An example of this is in one game he scored two shorthanded goals and an assist on the same penalty kill on that same shift.

He plans to move on to the NCDC Islanders Hockey Club next season as part of the Florida Eels and the IHC Affiliate Player development program.  

Nikita looks forward to playing for Coach Gary Heenan. Coach Heenan, has led Utica to 14 consecutive ECAC Men's West Conference playoff appearances (2003-2016), five appearances in the ECAC West championship game, four ECAC West regular-season championships and a trip to the NCAA Frozen Four. Playing for Utica and being a Pioneer is a dream come true for him.

Nikita has worked so hard in his development both in Canada and while he played for the Eels over the past 2 seasons. He is another example of how hard work, determination, sacrifice and dedication pays off. Nikita marks the Eels 203rd Eels player to advance to college and play ice hockey.

Congrats to Nikita Lopatin and to Premier Head Coach Frankie Scarpaci for doing an excellent job in developing Nikita Lopatin in to one of the top college prospects in the USPHL and in the USA.