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12-09-2012, 02:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Dynamo81 View Post
I thought he left America when he was four and returned three years ago after spending some years being developed by Dynamo Moscow?

Anyway he considers himself American, gave up Russian citizenship and I think none of this had to do with the Draft.
Well, I think it's a combination of factors, the biggest of which was probably Larionov telling him that it's the best decision for him going forward.
He has the high-end skill set to be a star for a national team that arguably lacks the same type of skill as other top countries at forward, so he should have the opportunity to play internationally many times over his career.
Plus, the American flag next to his name doesn't scare people like the Russian flag would.
If he hadn't made his intentions known and essentially cut ties with Russia prior to the draft, I don't know if he would have went third overall after missing almost a whole season of hockey.

Larionov will probably do it again with Dennis Yan, a 97 who grew up in the CSKA system.
Unlike all of the other Russian kids he imports as favors to his friends, Yan was born in the US (Alaska, IIRC) and was invited to the USAH Select 15 Development Camp this summer.
He played up a year last year, playing minor midget in Ontario with Lambton (Sarnia area, notice a connection?) and is now playing midget major with Belle Tire (MWEHL).

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