Glengarry Highlanders knew they had a good one when they signed defensemen Nikita Diakonov. A veteran of North American hockey, the 6’1″ 190-pound college hopeful had already proven he could compete at a high level.
The 20-year old came to the program after two standout seasons with the Forest Lake Lakers of the USPHL, where he put up 41 points in 74 games from the blueline. In 2015-16 Diakonov scored eight goals along with 18 assists for a career-best offensive season.
Playing a three-game weekend in the Canadian Premier Junior Hockey League last week Diakonov scored four times, including a hat trick on September 24 against Norwood. For his efforts Diakonov has been named the CPJHL Player of the Week.
Highlanders head coach Frank Morris said Diakonov came highly recommended by a contact in Russia; “He’s everything we were told and more. Nikita has been great on the ice for us and we’re happy to have him.”
Born in Moskova, Diakonov began his hockey journey in North America in 2012 with the Notre Dame Argos Midget team. Next stop was the PEAC Prep program in Toronto before playing Junior hockey in Minnesota. In his final year of eligibility, Diakonov chose to return to Ontario under coach Frank Morris and the Highlanders.
“We’re pleased to have his veteran presence on the blue line,” said Morris. “So far he’s everything we heard he would be.”