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03-13-2004, 10:51 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
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From the 4-5 games I saw Perezhogin and/or Balej play in I can say (not without a doubt, but close to it) that Perezhogin seems to have better hockey sense, way beyond his years. That's what struck me the most from him. He's got that anticipation and flair that cannot be thought and that you need to become a dominant player at the NHL level.

To me, Balej is more of a flashy player, with great creativity, puck control, fancy moves and speed to burn, but IMO he's never going to be as smart a player on the ice as Perezhogin. Balej IMO has the potential to become quite good, in the 30g 60pts range, but Perezhogin has that star quality. So in terms of potential, I'll have to go with Perezhogin, but of course he's far from safe to reach it, as he's struggled to adapt to the more physical kind of play at the begining, and I really wonder if he'll be able to make the next step (NHL) without gaining a bit of bulk so he doesn't get knocked around all season long.

I know people will say he's got decent size at 6' 185lbs, but from what I saw, I'd say this guy is no more than 5'11" and 175lbs at the very best. He's REALLY small. If he can add 10lbs of muscle (and a bit more balance as a result) during the summer, he'll be a prospect that will sky rocket in our depth chart, and IMO will easily go over the PPG production if he remains in the AHL one more year with his fellow countryman Andrei Kastsitsyn. The only thing right now that could hold him from becoming a 1st liner in the NHL is his strenght. If he works on that, sky's the limit, because he's got everything else (shot, skating, speed, mobility, agility, hockey sense, passing skills, work ethic, etc.)

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