DUBUQUE, Iowa — Dubuque Fighting Saints forward Nikita Borodayenko has committed to Merrimack College to continue his hockey career at the collegiate level. Borodayenko, the lone Russian on the Saints, has committed to a program in the ever-competitive Hockey East conference.
Nikita, on committing to Merrimack: I chose Merrimack because it has good conditions, good hockey coaches, and a good university in itself. I went there, looked at everything, and liked everything.
GM Kalle Larsson: Nikita left Moscow for Dubuque hoping to earn a scholarship. With his play early in the season, he attracted quite a bit of college interest and we’re happy he has made his commitment. Nikita’s skill level and his shot is high end, and as he adjusts to the USHL, his impact on the ice will only increase.
Head coach Greg Brown: Nikita has impressed us in the early going on the ice, and he has put in the work to get acclimated to life in North America by learning the language and learning the game on a smaller ice surface. We are very happy for him that he will continue his hockey career at Merrimack.
The Warriors are led by fourth-year head coach Scott Borek, who has been a coach in the college hockey realm since 1983. Former Fighting Saints affiliate and New York Islanders prospect Alex Jefferies is on the Warriors’ roster as well, who earned Hockey East All-Rookie accolades last season.
In the early going of the season, Borodayenko has posted three assists in four games. He scored two goals and two assists in three preseason games. Borodayenko emerged through the Spartak Moscow program from the U16 level and up. In his final season at the MHL level, Russia’s top junior league, he scored 16 goals and 21 assists in 56 games.