By Andrew Miller
The Post and Courier
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – The transition from college to the professional level can often times be an arduous process. Even when the player comes from the major college ranks, the learning curve can be pretty steep.
So, when South Carolina coach Jared Bednar signed Nikita Kashirsky out of Norwich University, a tiny NCAA Division III school in Vermont, for the final few games of the regular season, he wasn’t expecting the Moscow native to have an immediate impact on the Stingrays.
But not only has Kashirsky been able to contribute on a consistent basis since his arrival in March, he has arguably been one of the Stingrays’ top players and a major reason why South Carolina is just two wins away from capturing the franchise’s third Kelly Cup title.
“I knew Nikita had the talent to play at this level. That was really never in doubt because I knew he was a high-caliber player,” Stingrays coach Jared Bednar said. “But talent isn’t always enough at this level. The question for me was how quickly he would be able to pick up our systems? I wasn’t sure how long that would take because he had played at the Division III level.
“The thing that has surprised me the most is how quickly Nikita has been able to pick up our systems. He hasn’t even played a full season, but honestly, he’s playing like he’s been here all year.”