Nikita Popugaev was drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the fourth round of the 2017 NHL Draft. After playing three seasons of junior hockey, he spent two seasons with two separate KHL teams, bounced around the Devils’ ECHL and AHL affiliates, and then returned overseas to play for two more KHL teams.
Popugaev, most recently of Nizhnekamsk Neftekhimik in the KHL, announced on Monday that he was retiring from professional hockey in pursuit of becoming a social media influencer.
New Jersey Devils prospect Nikita Popugaev has announced his retirement at age 22 to pursue a career as a social media influencer. pic.twitter.com/uW1svZJqfd
— Mike Gould (@miketgould) September 27, 2021
Popugaev, speaking in Russian and sipping some sort of tea, said on his Instagram story that he was constantly being asked about what team he would sign for next. He is now ready to declare that he is officially retired and “decided to try something new”.
He immediately followed that announcement up with his first “social media influencer” post, which seems to be some sort of prank video where he placed a very large snake onto unsuspecting taxi cab drivers’ front seats.
Popugaev is joined in the video by Andrei Repin, a fellow social media prankster who in his Instagram bio claims to “make quality content, run from cops, and enjoy life.”
Repin has a YouTube channel called “REPA” where he seems to film vlogs and pranks. The channel currently has over 315,000 subscribers. Repin himself also has ties to the hockey world as in 2017-18 he was a member of the Russian U18 team Almaz Sokolskoye.
We’re not sure if the prank route will net Popugaev the same dollars as pro hockey would, but he’s a good looking dude and has an adorable puppy, so we’re not going to bet against him.
Screenshot via Nikita Popugaev (@npopugaev)
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.