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Sabres report cards: Dmitry Kulikov

Kulikov struggled with injuries and lack of production

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Buffalo Sabres Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The season is over, and we’re going to rate every player who played more than 20 games this season on their performance the same way we were all graded back in the day - on a report card scale of A to F. We’re taking a look at everyone from Bailey to Rodrigues in our 2016-17 Buffalo Sabres Report Cards.

Age: 26

Introduction: Dmitry Kulikov had a lot to live up to when he was acquired along with a pick that became Rasmus Asplund for stats wonderboy Mark Pysyk. He, well ... didn’t live up to those expectations. Little went right for Kulikov this season, starting with the humorous bruised butt injury that caused him to miss time early in the season.

Tim Murray wanted to improve the blue line at last year’s draft, and Kulikov was supposed to be a piece in that. The blue line wasn’t better this season, and now Kulikov is almost certainly walking away from the team in free agency.

Key stat: Kulikov netted only five points this year, by far the fewest he has ever scored. Sure, he only played 47 games, but he still wasn’t on pace to score in the high teens or 20’s like he did in his final three seasons with the Panthers.

Thumbs up: He only had one year left on his deal when the Sabres acquired him.

Thumbs down: Kulikov was a -26 on the season, the worst on the team by nine goals. Kulikov wasn’t producing offensively or defensively, seriously hurting his value as a player.

Memorable moment: Unfortunately for Kulikov, his most memorable moment is likely his initial injury, which was caused by the door on the Maple Leafs bench opening when he was hit into it.

Kulikov also had a somewhat memorable game later in the season against the Leafs, scoring a power play goal and getting the primary assist on one of Jack Eichel’s two tallies.

Voting: Using the good old grade school system of A, B, C, D, F, with a grade of A representing a great season, a grade of C being the performance you expected, and F a very poor season, rate Josh Gorges on his performance this year.


Grade Dmitry Kulikov on his 2016-17 season.

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