Nikolay Goldobin got off to a nice start with his new club, scoring the winning goal against the Los Angeles Kings back on March 4.
But the 21-year-old winger didn’t register a point in his next seven games for the Vancouver Canucks, and he only managed six shots combined.
So on Sunday, Goldobin was a healthy scratch against his old team, the San Jose Sharks.
“I think he needs to prove that he’s gonna go hard at this level,” Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said. “It’s not like I don’t play young guys. If guys come in and they’re going and playing hard, then they play. … We’ve just gotta get him more engaged.”
Desjardins has, indeed, been playing some of Vancouver’s new, young guys. Brock Boeser, the best example, has averaged 16:42 in five games while skating on a line with Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi. The 20-year-old winger has also scored twice, with 14 shots combined.
To be sure, there’s no denying Goldobin’s talent. It’s why he was 27th overall pick in 2014.
“He’s a skilled player,” said Desjardins.
“You gotta get your skill working hard.”