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01-16-2005, 01:37 AM
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Sorry, no breaking news, just another question:

How good is Denis Grebeshkov? From what I can tell, he's good both ways, a fast learner, and (were it not for the injury) would've spent all last season digging himself well into the top spots in the LA defensive corps ... So, granting that the question is not whether or not he's "ready," what is he ready for??

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01-16-2005, 02:41 AM
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Grebeshkov is mainly considered to be a complete rearguard who can provide an offensive spark from the blueline. He was a bit timid last season after returning from his wrist injury, but this season he has stepped up not only offensively but in his own end as well. He is 10th in +/- amongst AHL defenseman and 6th on the Monarchs in PIM's with 52 (one more than Gleason, who would have thought Grebs would have more PIM's than Gleason?!).
Statistically, this season in Manchester has thus far been a "breaking out" year for Grebeshkov, and that is what many scouts were expecting of him. He is 9th in scoring amongst AHL defensemen.
With Norstrom, Miller, Visnovsky, Dempsey, Corvo, Quintal, Holland possibly filling out the top 6-7 rotation on the Kings blueline (if there were a season) both Grebeshkov and Gleason would be ready to step in once a few of the names mentioned above left. In Grebeshkov and Gleason, the Kings have their future #1 & #2 defensemen. In my opinion, Grebeshkov could become the defenseman the Kings had in Alexei Zhitnik (ok, maybe not as physical as Zhitnik, but a complete dmen who gets the job done on both ends of the ice).

Here are some helpful links with information on Grebeshkov,

I also found these quotes from Kings General Manager Dave Taylor and Al Murray, the Kings Director of Scouting from an interview in the summer of '02.

Taylor compared Grebeshkov to Kings' defensemen Mathieu Schneider and Lubomir

"On our team, he might be a cross between a Mathieu Schneider and a Lubomir
Visnovsky," Taylor explained. "Agility and puck-moving skills from the
defensive position."

Kings' Director of Amateur Scouting characterized Grebeshkov as a solid,
two-way defenseman.

"He's very solid positionally, doesn't get caught running around or out of
position," he told LAKINGS.COM. "He can throw a short or long passes to start
the breakout and with the no-red line in international hockey, it becomes very
clear that he is a very good passer. He can set up in the offensive zone and
run the power play which he does on the Russian World Junior team and he's
getting more and more responsibilities with his men's team.

But Grebeshkov may need to bulk up, and work on the physical side of his game.

"Not a real banger but takes the player and takes the body," Murray said. "He
finishes his check but he is not a punishing checker at this point."

Also, if you go to kingshockey.com and check their news archives you will find some notes on Grebeshkov.

Here is what I was able to pull from their archive regarding Grebeshkov on the day the Kings selected him...

With the 18th overall selection, the Kings selected Denis Grebeshkov in the
first round. He is a 6-0, 189-pound defenseman who played for Lokomotiv
Yaroslavl, the champions of the Russian Super League last season.

"Denis has excellent mobility and good offensive skills," said Kings' Senior
Vice President and General Manager Dave Taylor. "He is the type of defenseman
who can run or quarterback a power play. He was, in our opinion, the best
prospect available when we picked."

Grebeshkov was ranked fourth among European prospects by the NHL's Central
Scouting Bureau (CSB).

He also played for the gold medal-winning Russian National Team in the 2001
World Junior Championships, and for the Russian team in the 2001 World Under-18
Championships, where Russia won the gold medal.

Here's what CSB said about Grebeshkov: "An excellent skater with good
mobility...strong passing skills and playmaking ability...a steady, solid
player in the defensive zone usually opting for the safe and simple play...a
stay-at-home defenseman...an intelligent player with a good understanding of
the game...has a powerful shot...a solid body checker who will not shy away
from the physical aspects of the game."

"Is rated 4th among European prospects on Central Scouting's final ranking, was
4th at mid-season...completed his second season in the Russian Senior
League...performed for Russia at the 2002 World Junior Championship in the
Czech Republic, capturing the Gold medal...ranked seventh among the
tournament's top scoring defensemen (1-2-3 in 7 GP)...performed for Russia at
the 2001 World Junior Championship in Russia as a 17-year-old, ranking seventh
among the tournament's top scoring defensemen (2-1-3 in 7 GP)...performed for
the Russian under-18 team in the 2000 Five Nations Cup in Salt Lake City."

"Grebeshkov is a solid all-around defenseman who had a very consistent season,"
said Eugene Belashchenko of HOCKEYSFUTURE.COM. "He has the potential to be a
top four two-way defenseman who is steady and responsible in all areas of the

"Denis absorbs knowledge like a sponge. He learns fast and always works hard on
the ice," added Belaschenko. "Denis possesses a strong and well-aimed shot. He
is also a solid power play quarterback. His lack of experience is the main
thing that is stopping him from taking a more prominent role on offense."

And like all players, Grebeshkov is not perfect.

"Grebeshkov has the tools, but is prone to making mistakes and hence hesitates
to take serious chances in the offensive zone," Belaschenko said. "This is less
evident if his play is assessed by only watching the international tournaments,
because he is light years ahead of many other players his own age. He possesses
a great hockey sense."

Belaschneko also assessed Grebeshkov's play in the 2001 World Junior

"Denis was very mobile, displaying great puck handling and skating ability," he
said. "Grebeshkov showed a lot of hockey sense and impressive vision of the

"[But he] was not very physical and according to an observer from the
tournament, he needs to bulk up and add some upper body strength," Belaschenko
explained. "Denis also did not shoot the puck enough."

Belaschenko adds that Grebeshkov needs at least one more year with his Russian
team to develop.

"Alexander has the potential of being a top four NHL defenseman," Belaschneko
observed. "He is already mature beyond his age...In 2002-03, he will earn a
promotion to the first or second defensive pairing with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. If
his development continues at the current rate, he will be ready to make a
serious impact in the NHL in 2003."

For more on Grebeshkov, check out HOCKEYSFUTURE.COM.

The RED LINE REPORT ranked Grebeshkov 26th in their top 30 draft prospects

"Solid defenseman who's not afraid to join the attack," said Kyle Woodlief of
the RED LINE REPORT. "Moves the puck quickly, makes a crisp first pass, and
thinks the game well. Good size and sees a lot of quality ice time on special
teams. He's an outstanding power play quarterback with good vision who makes
outstanding decisions in puck distribution."

"While his point shot is not a cannon, more important, it is consistently low
and accurate, and he doesn't get it blocked," added Woodlief, who projects that
Grebeshkov will become a good number three defenseman with a good deal of

"He's very solid and consistent in his own zone," said Woodlief, who thinks
Grebeshkov's style is similar to that of Phoenix Coyotes' defenseman Danil
Markov. "Not a big baggage smasher, but will take the body, and is always in
the proper position. Good defensive zone awareness and is decisive in his
movements. Not flashy, but a steadying influence along the blue line who's very
dependable and consistent."

TSN.CA had Grebeshkov ranked 14th among European skaters.

"The Russian defender is known for his fluid skating, but is hindered by lack
of physical play," said Bob McKenzie of TSN.CA. "Nevertheless, the Kings could
groom him."

"He can be electrifying, with great skating and puck skills," McKenzie added.
"With a potential crackdown on obstruction, he could really flourish."

Grebeshkov By the Numbers...
Year Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
2002 Team Russia 5-Nations Tourn. 4 2 2 4 4 Even
2002 Team Russia WJC 7 2 3 0 0 +3
2002 Team Russia '82 4-Nations 3 1 0 1 0 +2
01-02 Lokomotiv-2 1st League (farm) 7 1 1 2 2 Even
01-02 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl Super League 26 1 2 3 10 Even

Last edited by Ziggy Stardust: 01-16-2005 at 02:59 AM.
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01-16-2005, 10:29 AM
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One thing you forgot to mention, Ziggy. It's been observed that Grebs starts off games very very strong but let's his play diminish as the game progresses. I.e., if he makes a mistake it'll be late in the 2nd or sometime in the 3rd. I'm not sure if this is a conditioning or concentration issue or what.

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01-16-2005, 11:40 AM
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Wow ... thanks Ziggy!

Another thing: It looks like Grebs is doing extremely well in Manchester, as is the whole team. What kind of role is he playing there? What I mean, is: Is he more or less reaping the benefits of playing on such a strong offensive team, or is he one of the real contributors?

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02-13-2005, 09:50 PM
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I hope everything I hear about him is true.........Alex Z. was one of the best in my opinion...if Denis is an Alex I love that.

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02-16-2005, 09:44 PM
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How good is Denis Grebeshkov?

Yes I to have heard the Alexi Zhitnik comparisons. I hope it is true as I think we gave up on Alex way to soon along with Sydor, and Lang. All three should still be Kings to this day.

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02-17-2005, 03:09 AM
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Grebs puckhanding skills are not at NHL caliber yet. You ask many fans who attend the Monarchs games, they will tell you how much we cringe when he handles the puck. He does have a decent shot thou and is solid defensivly but is not ready for the NHL. He probabaly should spend this and next season in Manchester anyway.

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02-17-2005, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by ClarkeMustGoDotCom
Grebs puckhanding skills are not at NHL caliber yet. You ask many fans who attend the Monarchs games, they will tell you how much we cringe when he handles the puck. He does have a decent shot thou and is solid defensivly but is not ready for the NHL. He probabaly should spend this and next season in Manchester anyway.

Your just being greedy =P

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02-17-2005, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by TwzKing
Your just being greedy =P
I wish he was , but He's actually right on.

02-17-2005, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by kingsjohn
I wish he was , but He's actually right on.
Yep, I gotta admit I'm getting a bit concerned. Grebs is sounding more a like a Modry then a Lidstrom at this stage. Hopefully, he'll round out his game and be a fixture on the club for the 06-07 season.

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02-17-2005, 10:41 PM
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Maybe now would be the best time to trade him? He may never turn out to be the golden boy he's been hyped up to be. If we can get a legit star in return I'd do it . You always take the player that has shown he's a star over a player that has star potential.
Thorton for Grebs and a 1st. Or we can just keep him and hope he does turn out to be as good as everyone says he'll be. I really don't care anymore , this whole season justs sucks arse.

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02-17-2005, 10:55 PM
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This guy is the next Lubo and he's probably going to be better because he's much younger. It really is a shame we can't even given him a year or two to get his game together. I guess we expect him to play at a Lidstrom level as a rookie. Just relax and give him a little more time he has unlimited potential.

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02-18-2005, 02:01 AM
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Originally Posted by TwzKing
Your just being greedy =P
Im allways greedy with the prospects of my team. Grebs has all kinds of upside, he just needs to harness it. Just hope they dont get impatient with him and deal him in less then a season.

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02-18-2005, 02:58 AM
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With Grebs everyone has simply said he has no limit to potential that is why he is so highly touted..... I would also like to trade him for a proven player yet knowing the Kings he'll suddenly bloom when we trade him so we are keeping him

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