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01-31-2013, 10:13 PM
Rob Scuderi
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D, Alexei Kasatonov

Soviet League Stats and Accomplishments
315 points in 529 GP
8x 1st Team All-Star (1981-1988)

Soviet League Defensemen Scoring: 1 ('83), 1 ('85), 2 ('84), 2 ('87), 2 ('82), 3 ('89), 4 ('81), 4 ('86)

International Competition Stats and Accomplishments
Member of IIHF Hall of Fame

52 points in 77 World Championship GP
5x World Championship All-Star Team (1982-1983, 1985-1986, 1991)
1x World Championship Best Defender (1983)
5x WC Gold (1981, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1989)
1x WC Silver (1987)
2x WC Bronze (1985, 1991)

Placements - 1981: 40th in overall scoring, 8th in team scoring, 10th in defensemen scoring (4 points behind Tapio Levo); 1983: 6th in overall scoring, 4th in team scoring, 1st in defensemen scoring (1 point ahead of Fetisov); 1985: 5th in overall scoring, 4th in team scoring, 2nd in team scoring (2 points behind Fetisov); 1986: 24th in overall scoring, 6th in team scoring, 3rd in defensemen scoring (8 points behind Fetisov); 1987: 16th in overall scoring, 6th in team scoring, 3rd in defensemen scoring (2 points behind Fetisov); 1991: 32nd in overall scoring, 8th in team scoring, 2nd in defensemen scoring (1 point behind Lumme); 1982: only 3 points in 10 GP; 1989: 2 points in 10 GP

21 points in 21 Olympic GP
2x Olympic Gold (1984, 1988)
1x Olympic Silver (1980)

Placements - 1980: 31st in overall scoring, 11th in team scoring, 3rd in defensemen scoring (2 points behind Fetisov and Pervukhin); 1984: 20th in overall scoring, 4th in team scoring, 2nd in defensemen scoring (5 points behind Fetisov); 1988: 14th in overall scoring, 5th in team scoring, 4th in defensemen scoring (5 points behind Fetisov)

22 points in 27 Canada Cup GP
1x Canada Cup All-Star Team (1981)
1x Canada Cup winner (1981)
1x Canada Cup runner-up (1987)

Placements - 1981: 5th in overall scoring, 1st in team scoring, 1st in defensemen scoring (3 points ahead of Fetisov); 1984: 15th in overall scoring, 3rd in team scoring, 2nd in defensemen scoring (1 point behind Coffey); 1987: 17th in overall scoring, 9th in team scoring, 5th in defensemen scoring (3 points behind Bourque); 1991: only 1 point in 5 GP

NHL Stats
160 points in 383 GP

(thanks to overpass for many of these quotes)

Originally Posted by Toronto Star (Jim Proudfoot) - 2/7/1987
Kasatonov, the 27-year-old right defenceman, came from Leningrad. He is a bear of a man, 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds, and yet he is a quick and clever attacker.
Originally Posted by Who's Who in Hockey by Stan Fischler
The taller Kasatonov played a heady, two-way game and never was intimidated by the NHL scene.

Originally Posted by Vancouver Province (Jason Botchford) - 3/26/2006
Weinrich credits former teammate Chris Chelios for teaching him a lot. But Weinrich said he learned the most about killing penalties while playing on the New Jersey Devils in the early 1990s. There it was Russian defencemen Viacheslav Fetisov and Alexei Kasatonov who showed him essential, finer points of the game.

"Those two Russian guys were just masters at killing penalties," Weinrich said. "To be a good penalty killer you need to anticipate really well and be able to think ahead, three, sometimes four moves. I won't compare myself to those guys but playing with them helped me a lot."
Originally Posted by Toronto Star (Jim Proudfoot) - 8/8/1987
Fetisov would be the perfect person to spearhead a Soviet invasion of the NHL. He is like Denis Potvin, cruel and efficient in his own zone and utterly dynamic on the attack - possibly Russia's first genuine big leaguer. Kasatonov is almost a duplicate.
Originally Posted by Vancouver Sun - 2/19/1988
Alan Eagleson said he doesn't think the quality will set off a flood of NHL teams chasing them. He said Alexei Kasatonov, 28, and Vyacheslav Fetisov, 29, might be available for the New Jersey Devils. The Devils drafted both in 1983. They are the Soviet version of Bobby Orr and Denis Potvin, but both have a lot of mileage on them.
Originally Posted by Toronto Star (Jim Proudfoot) - 2/22/1988
Soviet defenders Viacheslav Fetisov and Alexei Kasatonov are capable of transforming the New Jersey Devils into National Hockey League contenders. This was the opinion of several NHL executives who watched the redshirts demolish Czechoslovakia in an Olympic game at the Saddledome yesterday.

"They're both NHL-type defencemen," said Bob Pulford, general manager of the Chicago Blackhawks. "They're exceptionally good with the puck and they're tough. And they're great skaters. They'd have an immediate impact in the NHL."

Fetisov and Kasatonov, rearguard sidekicks for many seasons, lead the unbeaten Soviets in scoring here. After five victories, Fetisov had three goals and six assists; Kasatonov is two and six.
Originally Posted by Bangor Daily News - 2/11/1987
They blend with two super-fast defensemen, Alexei Kasatonov and Vyacheslav Fetisov.

Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette - 2/11/1987
7 ALEXEI KASATONOV, defence - 27, teams with Fetisov as the top Soviet blueliners. He has played 33 games against NHL players, with two goals and 24 assists. He was also drafted by New Jersey in 1983.
Originally Posted by Toronto Star - 4/29/1989 (Frank Orr)
Kasatonov, who isn't far behind Fetisov as a great defenceman, works with the solid Alexei Gusarov while Fetisov, perhaps the best player in this tournament as he was at the '88 Olympics, is paired with newcomer Valeri Shiriaiev, from Sokol Kiev.

"The Green Five is absolutely amazing when you look closely at what they have accomplished, especially how much hockey they've played at such a high level in the past 10 years," King said.

"There's talk about the NHL teams playing a lot of games but the Soviets, with all the tournaments they go in, their own league, NHL tours, world championships and Canada Cups play an enormous amount of high-pressure, tough hockey. And those five guys have carried the load."

All five players have been in at least six world championships, three Olympic Games and three Canada Cups, although Fetisov missed the '84 event because of an injury.
Originally Posted by Windsor Star (Bob Duff) - 1/20/1990
They were supposed to be hockey messiahs, these Soviet puck chasers.

Amidst glistening praise and bold predictions of greatness, the Russians came to the National Hockey League this season.

Instead of instant stars, these Soviet skaters have, for the most part, been a picture of mediocrity.

Through all of the pre-season hype, there was at least one voice of reason, one person who said the Soviets might find things tough.

That train of thought came from Dave King, who has seen much of the Soviets as coach of Canada's Olympic team.

"The expectations were really too high," King said. "They're all good players, but they'd played for 10 years training in a system designed exclusively for them.

"Together, they were great, but now that they're split up, things are a lot tougher."
Originally Posted by Sports Illustrated - 1/15/1990
Five other Soviets—Krutov, 29, Larionov, 29, Calgary right wing Sergei Makarov, 31, and New Jersey defensemen Viacheslav Fetisov, 31, and Alexei Kasatonov, 30—have long been considered among the top 15 talents in the world, but it may have been too much to expect them to become premier NHL players overnight.

Originally Posted by Toronto Star (Jim Proudfoot) - 4/28/1990
In short: Calgary's Sergei Makarov wasn't the only Soviet import who succeeded as a National Hockey League rookie. Alexei Kasatonov was outstanding after joining the New Jersey defence at midterm. He was invited to the world championships in Switzerland but discovered he'd been playing with a broken jaw .
From the Hockey News after the 1989-90 season:
Kasatonov, who joined the New Jersey Devils Jan. 2, finished the regular season as their best defenseman. He adjusted faster than Fetisov and Starikov and exhibited a higher skill level.
Originally Posted by New York Times - 4/11/1991
"It doesn't matter if it's Lemieux or Coffey," Kasatonov said after today's practice. "You have to be very strong and aggressive against every player in the playoffs."

Originally Posted by New York Times - 1/27/1995
Aleksei Kasatonov, the Russian defenseman who played for three-and-a-half seasons with the Devils, may have found a home in Boston. "This is a good team. It likes to work hard, like me," Kasatonov said.

Originally Posted by New York Times - 10/8/1992
Aleksei Kasatonov, the durable Russian defenseman, didn't practice because of a bruised muscle above the left knee he suffered in blocking a shot in the first period.

Scouting Reports
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1990-1991
The Finesse Game
Unlike fellow Soviet Viacheslav Fetisov, Kasatonov's skills are far more subtle and far less dramatic. All he does is get excellent reads of the ice at both ends, contain and control both blue lines, force turnover and speed the transition game. He just doesn't do it with the flair Fetisov does - when Fetisov does it.

Kasatonov is an excellent skater across all aspects of the skill, posses speed, agility, quickness and balance. He uses that skating to its best degree in all aspects of his game and his excellent hockey sense and read and react abilities play off his skating very well.

He makes solid and sure passes from his end...Kasatonov finds the open man excellently, but he is not such an offensive dynamo that he will create open ice for his teammates. Kasatonov handles the puck very well and can rush with it, but he knows not to hang onto it for long spans of time - one very important reason he had the immediate NHL success he did.

The Physical Game
As with his finesse game, Kasatonov's physical game is a subtle one but highly defined nonetheless. His excellent skating ability puts him in good position for takeouts, and his strength and balance allow him to pin his man to the boards. He excellently uses his body to gain position, plays a willing physical game in all areas and cannot be intimidated.

The Intangibles
A very strong NHL debut for Kasatonov...Like fellow Soviet Fetisov, Kasatonov is the rare kind of player who can make his teammates better just by his presence - which is to be expected from a world class player. He has fine desire and a strong attitude and can only improve with greater NHL experience - though it's hard to imagine his being any more effective.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1991-1992
The Finesse Game
Kasatonov is a blue-collar Soviet, if there could be such a thing. Where most Soviet players have graceful, seamless games, Kasatonov is a worker. He is a powerful skater, very wide-based, and his "railroad" stance makes him a very difficult player to knock off his skates.

He is an excellent stick-checker and is able to turn the flow back quickly the other way and jump into the play offensively. He is an excellent penalty-killer, aggressive without losing his position. His enthusiasm for the game shows, but his emotions seldom affect him in a negative fashion. Coaches never have to worry about his intensity level, because he brings a consistent desire to excel to the rink every game.

The Physical Game
One of the highlights of Kasatonov's season was probably the fight he won with Ron Francis. Not that Francis is a heavyweight, but Kasatonov finally struck a blow for all of the Soviets who are constantly "tested" by NHL bullies...and has proven he cannot be intimidated. In fact, Kasatonov has shown a taste for the rough stuff.

He is a very physical player, but will not check hard. He will take an opponent out, but let him off the hook. He has to learn to crunch, because he has size and especially the skating strength to do so.

The Intangibles
Now the secret is out, Kasatonov was the team's best defenseman over the long haul last season, showing real improvement late in the year.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1992-1993
The Finesse Game
Ask most scouts who is the most underrated defenseman on the Devils and they will answer Kasatonov. Opposing scouts love his poise, work ethic and powerful skating ability. Because he doesn't possess great breakaway speed, Kasatonov has never garnered as much notice as some of the other players to come from Russia, but he has all the tools and a toolbox to put them in.

Kasatonov doesn't shoot bullets from the blue line (his slap shot is one of the weaker parts of his game), but he sees the ice well and works his passes. He also likes to sneak into the right circle and use his accurate wrist shot.

One of the league's better penalty-killing defensemen, an underrated Kasatonov skill is lifting the puck from deep in his defensive zone to center ice on his backhand. Few players can do it as quickly and effectively (although it is apparent he has taught some of his Devils teammates the trick). He uses this clearing technique during the penalty kills and it is extremely frustrating to opponents.

The Physical Game
It didn't take long for Kasatonov to adapt to the more physical style of North American play. He won't be intimidated and will frequently initiate some belligerent contact. Kasatonov is not a crushing checker and the Devils would like him to get a little meaner since he has the lower body strength and agility to become a punishing hitter.

The Intangibles
Kasatonov has stepped up his development last season to become the team's second-best all-around defenseman (after Stevens). The only thing lacking is consistency. One pig plus is that despite his offensive drought, Kasatonov never hurt the team defensively.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1993-1994
The Finesse Game
He will not lead a rush, but he's savvy enough to jump into the play and when he is hit with a pass as the trailer, will use a strong wrist shot.

Kasatonov is an excellent penalty-killer. He is expert at breaking up passes, plays well positionally and has a great knack for clearing the zone by lifting the puck out on his backhand. It's a rare skill.

The Physical Game
He was one of the first Russian players who showed a real liking for the physical part of the game, but last season he seemed more reluctant to bang, as if the hits hurt more.

Last edited by Rob Scuderi: 03-06-2013 at 09:31 PM.
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