Thread: Value of: Nikolai Kulemin?
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01-01-2013, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by y2kcanucks View Post
Actually Raymond is a great defensive presence and is a mainstay on our PK, so you're wrong there. Kulemin is far more physical, but Raymond has far more speed. It all depends on what you value and what components your team has a lot of. Vancouver has a lot of speedy/non-physical players, while the Leafs appear to lack in speed. Anyone suggesting that the two of them aren't close in value is sadly sadly sadly mistaken.

Keep in mind, Kulemin is coming off a 7 goal season, while Raymond is coming off an 11 goal season in fewer games. Raymond suffered a broken back in June 2011, and still outproduced Kulemin last year.
Playing a lot of minutes on the PK doesn't mean someone is an above average defensive player when it comes to 5v5 hockey. When I watch Raymond play I never get the impression that he's an outstanding or even above average defensive player. He does a decent job, but Kulemin is clearly the better defensive player out of the two.

I see Kulemin as a steady 20+ goal scorer with great defensive game, he's a perfect complimentary winger for a 2nd line job, I'd be thrilled if he was on either Avs (I think he would look great next to PAP and Duchene, or with Radar on the 3rd line with Landeskog moving up to Stastny's or Duchene's wing) or Habs roster.

Oh and lets not forget that his slow start to the season could be in large part explained by the Lokomotiv tragedy, that surely left some pretty big scars on his psyche. I'm sure it was extremely difficult for him to concentrate on hockey with that dark cloud hanging over his head.

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