Thread: Prospect Info: 2013 NHL Draft Prospects I
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11-30-2012, 10:30 AM
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There's been a lot of things that have led up to the negative Russian rep, some of them founded, some of them unfounded.

(I'm going with drafted out of Russia/KHL and not Russian birth or heritage)

From 2000-2004, there were 19 Russians selected in the first round. Of those, eight were busts, four were decent players, and six were very good picks. The last player was Radulov, who of course fled to Russia when he faced some challenges.

I think the big problem was with the new CBA, there wasn't a transfer agreement with Russia, so there was no protection from the Russian leagues. From 2005-2011, only 9 Russians were selected in the first round, and you could argue each year the draft position dropped due to their nationality.

Looking closer at some of them...

2005 - None drafted for the first time since 1998, but a weak draft class. No Russians drafted made the NHL.

2007 - Cherepanov. Dropped quite a ways due to the "Russian" factor. Tragically died so hard to analyze, but the operation of the Russian league might have contributed to his death.

2008 - Filatov. Said to be a "sure thing" as he learned English beforehand and promised to play in the NHL. Famously bailed to Russia over disagreements with Ken Hitchcock. Traded for peanuts and bailed again the next year from Ottawa.

2009 - No Russians drafted.

2010 - Tarasenko. One of the highest rated prospects but hasn't come over to the NHL, choosing to play in the KHL.

2010 - Kuznetsov. Another highly rated prospect who continues to play in the KHL over the NHL.

2011 - No Russians drafted.

Since Ovechkin/Malkin, there haven't been any Russians drafted in the first round who have been significant impact players (you could argue Varlamov, but I'd say he's not a significant player at this point). That's seven years.

Now, Tarasenko and Kuznetsov could change things, and players like Burmistov, Kulikov, Yakupov, and Grigorenko have shown that for Russians who want to make the NHL, playing in North America first is a real statement to teams headed into the draft.

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