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11-04-2010, 01:10 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
What Monkey said.
I've followed AA since we drafted him, and one thing to note is how well he adapts.
In his first year in the RSL, in a minor role, he turned out to be a big player for Yaroslav Lokomotiv. He only scored 10pts in 39 GP, but he looked good in all aspects, and defensively was very solid. However, in 7 playoff games, he had 3 goals and 5 assists, and was a real factor.
The next year, he comes over, he's tentative and hesitant in his first year as a Pack member, and really doesn't find his game until after the WJC's, where he got to play a little with guys of his own age, and in some ways I think that really helped relax him. He came back, had a very good 2nd half of the year, and finished strong (though his playoff numbers weren't very good... neither were the Pack in the PO's). He comes back in 08 a little stronger, much more confident, and even though he had a slow start (I don't think he had more than 8 points in his first month of play) he turned it on in late October and from there was dominant. Part of that I attribute to him basically playing his own game, and getting away from Gernander... that man needs to go, great player for the pack, but a terrible coach... but that's a different topic. AA finishes with 37 goals and 81 points in 80 games played. That was good enough for 4th in the AHL, and he was the only one in the top 5, and possible top 10 (I forget now) under 24 or 23 to finish that high that year.
His first year up here, he's tentative and hesitant (see a pattern?) and really doesn't look great until the end of the year, though he did show flashes. This year, he got a little bigger, and again he got a lot more confident. He also has some good, young, hardworking linemates.
What is consistent about Artem is his consistent work ethic. He always works, always. He always wants to be the best he can be, and he always makes it a point to work hard to get there. He's sort of a Pete Rose or Chase Utley type in some respects: quiet, goes about his business, but works hard everyday and keeps moving.
His upside to me is a 45 or 40-42 center who has a very good 2 way game.
What's amazed me so far is his skating. Last year, for whatever reason, all of his weight was up by his shoulders, aka his center of gravity was way high. This year, he's playing with a nice and low center of gravity (or as low as a 6'4" guy is going to get) and he's moving so much more efficiently.
I personally love it, I think a guy like this is a rareity, and while he probably will never be an "elite" player, I think he can compliment a top line and carry a 2nd line as his career moves forward.
Realistically, I expect him to be a 65-75 pt player.
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