Thread: Prospect Info: 2013 NHL Draft Prospects I
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11-30-2012, 12:37 PM
dun worry he's cool
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Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
With the "Russian factor" you have to consider not just walking out of NHL contracts but not coming over in the first place as well as just not a lot of talent.

Looking from 2005 onward, only three players TOTAL were drafted out of Russia/KHL that stuck in the NHL: Varlamov, Anisimov, and Kulemin. Obviously the jury is out for the last few years, but that is a LONG drought. Now if you include Russian nationalities (I was just talking about Russian leagues), you can add Burmistov to make four total players. It's still amazingly low. EDIT: missed Voynov, good catch. So that's five players.

BTW my arbitrary first round cutoff point was because you were talking about high draft picks.

Personally with a high draft pick (top 10 or so), unless it's a clear home-run type player (Ovechkin, Kovalchuk, Malkin) or the second best PA is a HUGE drop off, I'd probably skip a kid out of the KHL. Just too high risk for the reward unless the reward is huge.

Then again, the Wild are in the same position that say New York was with Cherepanov in 2007 or Washington with Kuznetsov in 2010. We have plenty of players and prospects under contract now and can afford to take a longer-term risk. If the player does come out and play for you, he'll have several years of pro hockey under his belt and be fairly polished. So a mid- to late-first round wouldn't be a bad risk IMO.
Yes, there's only a few high Russian (nationality) picks who stuck, but it was still a fairly high percentage who worked out. Cherepanov obviously should be excluded from any count, but other than Filatov (who was a bust, would have been the same bust if he were Canadian) you have Vishnevsky (27th overall, 2006) who was drafted out of the Q who it appears simply failed to make an NHL roster and Dmitry Kulikov (14th overall, 2009) also drafted out of the Q who appears to have headed back to the KHL after 3 NHL seasons.

The point is, when you're drafting a guy high (like a Yakupov, Malkin, Ovechkin, Kovalchuk, or presumably a Nichushkin) there's been zero cases of a player fleeing to Russia. There has never been a top 10 Russian pick who failed to end up with a long NHL career except for Filatov, who was a bust, not a flight issue.

In fact, the only real risk zone with Russians seems to be drafting them out of the Q right in the middle of the round or drafting them at the very end of the first. Buffalo should be more worried about Grigorenko than any teams should be afraid of Nichushkin.

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