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Math, Meteor Among Okhotiuk’s Unusual Obstacles on His Path to NHL (+)



Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

Nikita Okhotiuk is no stranger to the tough North American style of hockey.

Partly, because he’s lived in North America since he was 16. Partly, because he is from “the toughest city in Russia.”

At least that’s what Chelyabinsk—a big industrial city in the Ural region of Russia—was called in a popular Russian sketch comedy show.

With plenty of factories, Chelyabinsk, indeed, is a place where people work a little more and smile a little less.

But for the young San Jose Sharks defenseman, the toughest thing that’s ever happened to him in Chelyabinsk wasn’t related to factories or messing with the wrong people.

It wasn’t even about hockey.

In February 2013, when Okhotiuk was 12, Chelyabinsk was struck by a huge meteorite.

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