Wasting talent in CHL, evidence
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12-29-2012, 02:08 AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Here's a Russian example of potential NHL prospects. Valeri Nichushkin and Nikita Zadorov.
I had the chance to watch Nikita Zadorov of the London Knights, while astonished by his huge 6'5 frame, he did have issues at first transitioning to the OHL game. His positioning still needed work, and physicality sort of lacked for a defensemen with that size. After a couple months in the system playing with a extremely talented London team on a twenty two game winning streak, it's great to see how far he's come in such a short time. He is done a solid job with his positioning, has become very physical and has a great plus/minus, leading all draft eligibles if i'm not mistaken. From being a potential first round pick, he is now in the conversation for a possible top 10/15 selection. He has done a great job with his adjustment and his game just keeps on improving.
I had the opportunity to watch Valeri at a minor hockey tournament playing with the Red Army team from Moscow. He had very good size and skill and he continues to get better. He played amazing at the U17 tournament and all the CHL team were salivating at the opportunity of the selecting him in the CHL import draft. He was projected to go 1st overall in this previous summer's import draft but Valeri ultimately backed out of the draft signing a 3 year deal in Russia. Although he made this decision it has worked out very well for him so far. The scouts love that he plays a North American style game and has the impressed the Europeans scouts as well as the NHL scouts watching him at the top prospects game and World juniors tournament. Very complete game and projected like Zadorov in the top 10-15.
So this topic is subjective, while it may work for some prospect to stay home and play it may work for others to come to North America. Will both of the players still have trouble transitioning from their leagues to the NHL, possibly, but its just a testament to show that if you work hard you will be rewarded.
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