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Nikita Nikitin

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Old
06-08-2009, 11:02 PM
  #1
PocketNines
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Nikita Nikitin

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Last edited by PocketNines: 06-23-2009 at 06:09 PM.
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06-08-2009, 11:45 PM
  #2
BlueBeard
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I thought it was Doug Armstrong that went and watched him play. I think they had meetings and went out to dinner to discuss things as well. JR was the one that posted the story in his morning skate blog I believe. I'll dig there for a bit and see if I can't find the link for you.

It's a big jump from KHL play to NHL play in terms of style who knows how the transition would go for him and ultimately I think he'd see AHL time. Like you I'm in the I'll see it when I believe it camp.

found it: http://www.stltoday.com/blogzone/mor...ip-to-siberia/

Come to think of it norm from BND may have wrote something on this as well I'll check there too.


Last edited by BlueBeard: 06-08-2009 at 11:53 PM. Reason: added link
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06-08-2009, 11:55 PM
  #3
Sniper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PocketNines View Post
God help me, because I have an official believe-it-when-I-see-it policy on all Russians.

But what about this visit to Russia to scout Nikitin this past season? He was taken in the 5th round of 2004, is 6'3" and has developed into a great-skating, top-pairing, puck-moving d-man. I haven't seen him play but it sounds like he's a great player over there.

Who was it from the Blues that went to visit at least one of his games? Do we know anything about the possibility of getting him to come over? Has he developed to the point that the Blues would risk a one-way contract if they think Brewer's not coming back at some point this summer? I feel like there's conflicting info about the financial health of the KHL.

Not getting any hopes up, as we've learned by a steady drumbeat of Russian ambivalence.

But worth discussing due to the particular need on the Blues' blueline. For instance, is his game clearly NHL-ready (no time needed in the AHL)? What's he getting paid in US dollars right now?
It would go against the Blues character to bring someone from Russia (or anywhere overseas) directly to the NHL. There's been a policy of playing at least 1 year in the AHL before playing in St. Louis which I think is a sound expectation. If he is willing to play a year for the Rivermen before joining the Blues, then by all means bring him over. But if Nikitin were to come over and play directly for the Blues, you risk every player in the Blues system not from North America to bolt back home.

Barring a prospect of Malkin's or Ovie's calibur, I believe that every player overseas should spend a year in the AHL to learn the ice, language, and culture before being put into the spotlight of the NHL.

Now if he comes over, plays half a season in the AHL and blows everyone away, then I'd be all for it.

What I see happening if Brewer isn't ready to start the season is Junland/Petro to cover the open space and Weaver resigned to fill Brewer's spot until the C is either healed or his injury is determined to be career ending. We'll deal with the logjam when we have to. All of this is based on the Blues NOT trading for Pronger of course.

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06-09-2009, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by PocketNines View Post
And Sniper, I agree that it's out of character for the Blues to offer a straight-to-NHL deal, and I definitely agree that if he hasn't earned it he shouldn't get it. It would probably have to be both a case of need (puck-moving d-man) and clear skill on Nikitin's part. It sure sounds from Armstrong's description like he's not that different right now from what they hope Pietrangelo will become. Nikitin seems to have grown 4 inches since he was drafted.

Since he's older and has had five development seasons since his draft, would he be a clear NHLer with his skills?
I think that is the key. Polak came over at 20 and Junland is also younger then Nikitin and came over earlier - both are not as developed as he would be IF he decided to come over next season. He has had more time to polish his game.

Also keep in mind that OMSK would not release him to play in the WJC the year after he was drafted. They have really, really done everything they can to hold on to him and keep him from getting the attention of the NHL.

I would love to get him signed to a contract as I think he would really add to the D. Big body, w/ skating and skill. (I am not sure if he has grown since the draft - I just remember thinking he was big at the time). It is also the main reason he has been consistently in my top 20 list since he was drafted - even without knowing if he would come over.

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Old
06-09-2009, 06:38 PM
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Mike6749
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniper View Post
It would go against the Blues character to bring someone from Russia (or anywhere overseas) directly to the NHL. There's been a policy of playing at least 1 year in the AHL before playing in St. Louis which I think is a sound expectation. If he is willing to play a year for the Rivermen before joining the Blues, then by all means bring him over. But if Nikitin were to come over and play directly for the Blues, you risk every player in the Blues system not from North America to bolt back home.
Berglund, Eller, Backman?

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Old
06-09-2009, 09:29 PM
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Prussian_Blue
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Berglund, Eller, Backman?
Berglund, yes.

Eller has not come over and played for the Blues yet, and the expectation for him is still that he will at least start the season in Peoria.

Backman played a year in Worcester before becoming a regular with the Blues; he only got a four-game cup of coffee with the Blues in his rookie year (2002-03) while playing 72 games with the Ice Cats that year (8-19-27, with 66 PIM). And he had played four years in the SEL before that...

If Nikitin comes over -- which I really hope he does -- and if he's good enough to start the year with the Blues, that's what he'll do. And I don't subscribe to the notion that doing so will chase every other Euro in the system back home.

P_B

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06-09-2009, 11:29 PM
  #7
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Berglund, yes.

Eller has not come over and played for the Blues yet, and the expectation for him is still that he will at least start the season in Peoria.

Backman played a year in Worcester before becoming a regular with the Blues; he only got a four-game cup of coffee with the Blues in his rookie year (2002-03) while playing 72 games with the Ice Cats that year (8-19-27, with 66 PIM). And he had played four years in the SEL before that...

If Nikitin comes over -- which I really hope he does -- and if he's good enough to start the year with the Blues, that's what he'll do. And I don't subscribe to the notion that doing so will chase every other Euro in the system back home.

P_B
Based on Armstrong's description of his size and skills, and the fact that he's had 5 years' seasoning since his draft, I suspect he wouldn't need a full season in Peoria for his adjustment to the North American game. He'd either be good enough to make The Blues' NHL roster out of camp, or need a few months in The AHL to get ready. I really hope they can entice him to come over.

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Old
06-10-2009, 12:23 PM
  #8
jmwc95
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Even if he was good enough to stick with the big club next season, how are we going to fit him on the roster?

Johnson
Brewer
McKee
Jackman
Polak
Colaiacovo
Pietrangelo
Strachan
Woywitka
Junland
Wagner


Last edited by jmwc95: 06-10-2009 at 01:01 PM.
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Old
06-10-2009, 01:00 PM
  #9
Celtic Note
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Originally Posted by jmwc95 View Post
Even if he was good enough to stick with the big club next season, how are we going to fit him on the roster?

Johnson
Brewer
McKee
Jackman
Polak
Colaiacovo
Pietrangelo
Strachan
Woywitka
Junland
My thoughts exactly!!

The only way I see that happening is if Petro is back to the OHL, Woywitka is not re-signed, and Strachan and Junland are destined for the AHL. OR, if someone is traded or can not return from injury (i.e. Brewer / McKee). Now, this all can happen if Nikitin come in and blows everyone else away... I just don't see that happening.

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Old
06-10-2009, 01:08 PM
  #10
Celtic Note
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniper View Post
It would go against the Blues character to bring someone from Russia (or anywhere overseas) directly to the NHL. There's been a policy of playing at least 1 year in the AHL before playing in St. Louis which I think is a sound expectation. If he is willing to play a year for the Rivermen before joining the Blues, then by all means bring him over. But if Nikitin were to come over and play directly for the Blues, you risk every player in the Blues system not from North America to bolt back home.

Barring a prospect of Malkin's or Ovie's calibur, I believe that every player overseas should spend a year in the AHL to learn the ice, language, and culture before being put into the spotlight of the NHL.

Now if he comes over, plays half a season in the AHL and blows everyone away, then I'd be all for it.

What I see happening if Brewer isn't ready to start the season is Junland/Petro to cover the open space and Weaver resigned to fill Brewer's spot until the C is either healed or his injury is determined to be career ending. We'll deal with the logjam when we have to. All of this is based on the Blues NOT trading for Pronger of course.
Why would Euros flock back to their homes if Nikitin comes over and starts? Seems to me if they are here now, then they have a strong aspiration to play in the NHL. Going home would kill those dreams and negate all the hard work and effort they have bled for however long they have been playing. Plus, its not like Nikitin was just drafted... he has been playing in the top league in Russia for a while now. So, its not like he hasn't done anything and hasn't worked on his game.

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06-10-2009, 01:13 PM
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SteenMachine
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Not to mention the Blues drafting team tends to target character as a very significant trait in their picks, in hopes to avoid the kind of players that run off on them after being inducted into the system. Obviously there are no guarantees but they've passed up a lot talent in the past because they didn't see enough desire to come to NA and push for an NHL spot.

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06-10-2009, 01:28 PM
  #12
Randall Ritchey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmwc95 View Post
Even if he was good enough to stick with the big club next season, how are we going to fit him on the roster?

Johnson
Brewer
McKee
Jackman
Polak
Colaiacovo
Pietrangelo
Strachan
Woywitka
Junland
Wagner
If he's good enough to make opening day roster as a starting player, he'd likely be above the bolded players.
If the Blues can't shed McKee's salary this offseason, I'd say waive him and stick him in the minors like we did with Legace. Unless he's seriously stepped up his defensive game up and has a FANTASTIC attitude.
But I seriously think that McKee will be moved in the offseason.

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06-15-2009, 04:05 AM
  #13
Alessandro Seren Rosso
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PocketNines View Post
Hopefully some Russian observers will chime in with background info and their observations.
Good player, good size, not NHL material.

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06-15-2009, 10:20 AM
  #14
Prussian_Blue
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Re: Nikita Nikitin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alessandro Seren Rosso View Post
Good player, good size, not NHL material.
The input is appreciated, sir... can you expound a little on the "not NHL material" comment? For example, does that mean "not NHL material now," or "not NHL material at any time in the future," and why?

Thanks,

P_B

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06-15-2009, 04:58 PM
  #15
Celtic Note
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Originally Posted by Oshniak View Post
If he's good enough to make opening day roster as a starting player, he'd likely be above the bolded players.
If the Blues can't shed McKee's salary this offseason, I'd say waive him and stick him in the minors like we did with Legace. Unless he's seriously stepped up his defensive game up and has a FANTASTIC attitude.
But I seriously think that McKee will be moved in the offseason.
After how "well" McKee played toward the end of the season I doubt it. Unless he is part of a significant deal I just don't see it happening in the offseason, though it could happen at the trade deadline.

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06-15-2009, 09:46 PM
  #16
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I, too, would like to know why you think he doesn't have The NHL in his future. Not being "NHL material" means to me that he doesn't have it in him to ever be good enough for The NHL. Not that he's just not ready now. I hope I'm wrong about what you meant.

I'd like to think he skates well enough, is coachable and has the desire to be the best player he can be. I hope he as as big as mentioned above, and plays a reasonably physical game. If so, why doesn't he have the potential to play in The NHL some day? And why did Armstrong make a special trip to Russia to watch him play?

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Old
06-14-2010, 07:36 PM
  #17
Stealth JD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmwc95 View Post
Even if he was good enough to stick with the big club next season, how are we going to fit him on the roster?

Johnson
Brewer
McKee
Jackman
Polak
Colaiacovo
Pietrangelo
Strachan
Woywitka
Junland
Wagner
funny how things have a way of working out

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Old
06-14-2010, 07:54 PM
  #18
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Originally Posted by Alessandro Seren Rosso View Post
Good player, good size, not NHL material.
Not NHL material? Hhmmmmmm

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Old
06-14-2010, 08:42 PM
  #19
2 Minute Minor
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Last I'd heard the team did make Cola an offer. I suspect they're not willing to go up and he probably can find a higher bid elsewhere...but maybe they'll become more aggressive now that Junland took himself out of the equation.

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