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07-04-2013, 02:05 PM
  #8
J17 Vs Proclamation
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No doubt relative to the NHL draft, the Russian factor has a huge influence both for elite talents and more marginal talents.

Russia only had 8 NHL picks this year, which is surely in no way indicative of the talent in the age group relative to other hockey nations. Canada had 90+, the US around 60. There is simply no reason IMO to draft an 18 yr old project from Russia from an NHL POV (likewise with other European nations to extent). If they progress, take them later.

The more interesting question is whether the "Russian factor" has significant merit when dicussing top end talents. People worry about getting elite Russians over, when the evidence suggests that the elite talents generally come over. The flight risk is a bigger threat than actually getting them over. That often comes down to bad management/system development/or them not being good enough. Some NHL teams absolutely should stay clear from drafting high end Russians, because they aren't adept enough at developing young players successfuly to avoid these situations. NHL teams with patience and good development and visibility throughout their organisation should not fear drafting a player high just because he is Russian.

Since fewer and fewer younger Russian players find themselves having NHL contracts/affiliation we see fewer Russians in the AHL - something surely most Russians would agree is a positive.

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