NHL Draft Diaries: Equipment Edition - Artyom Levshunov

By Matt Stathopoulos

02/14/2024

NHL Draft Diaries: Equipment Edition - Artyom Levshunov
Artyom Levshunov is making waves with his exceptional hockey talent as he continues to soar up the draft rankings of many scouts. He’s quickly becoming one of the most anticipated prospects for the upcoming 2024 NHL Draft. His journey that began with the Green Bay Gamblers, and currently stands at Michigan State University, has been nothing short of impressive.

Levshunov's rise to prominence began in the United States Hockey League (USHL), where he showcased his talent as a defenseman at just seventeen years old. His remarkable production of 42 points in 62 games with the Gamblers caught the attention of scouts and fans alike, solidifying his status as a top NHL prospect.

Now, as an eighteen-year-old freshman at Michigan State, Levshunov continues to excel with the Spartans. He has put up 28 points in 30 games with a plus 27 rating so far this season, and he is proving himself against tougher competition in the NCAA ranks.

One could assume his choice of equipment is mainly due to his team’s contractual obligations, but there have been some interesting notes in that regard – especially in the early stages of his career. Levshunov's journey began with Bauer in the USHL, where he adhered to the league's partnership with the brand. Starting the 2022-23 season with a Vapor HyperLite stick, Levshunov made a notable switch to the Bauer AG5NT in December 2022, becoming one of the first players in the league to be seen with it.

The AG5NT stick garnered attention in the Fall of that same year for its advanced features, performance, and sleek black and gold look. It is fair to say this was a strategic move by Bauer to align their new prized product with Levshunov's rising star status. Sure, the AG5NT was receiving more than its fair share of endorsement in the NHL and other pro leagues. But it never hurts to think ahead and attempt to maximize its promotion by utilizing the next generation of stars.

Transitioning to Michigan State, Levshunov seamlessly continued his partnership with Bauer, as the Spartans also have a sponsorship deal with the renowned equipment manufacturer. Entering the new season, his stick donned the graphics of a new Vapor HyperLite 2, with a custom green color to match those of the school. His choice of skates were the popular Supreme Machs, helmet the also popular Re-Akt 150, and his gloves the standard Vapor HyperLite model.

Looking ahead to his eventual NHL career, it's clear that Levshunov's connection with Bauer runs deep. Not just because of expected obligations, but also due to a track record of success and mutual admiration between the player and brand. Given these two factors, we’d say it’s highly likely that Levshunov will continue to trust Bauer equipment at the professional level.

Simultaneously, for Bauer, securing Levshunov as a long-term ambassador is shaping up to be the right call, and it will be interesting to see what happens when he becomes eligible for a commitment. His endorsement could significantly impact sales, brand visibility, and more if he continues to ascend in the highest level of the game.

From the moment he is drafted, many equipment fans will be eager to see which brand he’ll be going with to begin his professional career. Of course, should he choose to return to Michigan State after being drafted, then all of this is put on hold for the immediate future. His time will certainly arrive though, and the extended wait will not make his eventual decision any less exciting.

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