I'm not sold on Zhakarov at all, however. He has the potential but is so raw right now and hasn't done much to really solidify his game it seems. I hope he pans out.
From watching him play you might be right, but consider a few things.
1) He is a 19 year old in the AHL. He is SUPPOSED to be a little raw right now. If he were a Dominating player in the AHL at the age of 19 he'd be a Top 10 prospect. For him to be a little raw is OK IMO.
2) This is first year in the AHL. I'd be STUNNED if he could adapt that quickly to a new League and team. He is also being extremely limited in his ice time.
3) This is only his second year in North America(same with Shkotov btw). Not only is he dealing with the new League and team, he is also still adapting to a new style of game and new ice size(not to mention the language barriers). Again, if he had adapted THAT quickly to his new environment, I'd be stunned(speaking of which, I'm really surprised by how good Shkotov has been so far into the season).
4) Considering how 1 dimensional he used to be(based on what I saw of him at Training camp '03 and the Cat's training camp this year), I'd say he's come a LONG way in terms of develment(especially in the defensive zone). He still has a way to go but if he keeps up this pace he could turn into an Alfredsson type forward.
He might be a little raw, but all things considered he is still a pretty good prospect.