Location: aka Kubina_Fan Blues fan in Ontario loving Calgary
I'm sure that his name comes up every couple of months on the Boards, but I have a keen interest in a prospect such as Utkin. He was apparently super-hyped by Kyle Woodlief before the 2002 draft and from the little rumblings I've heard, has progressed more for Spartak Moscow than he did with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.
I've seen him play. He has average/above average speed. It's nothing amazing though. People overrated him. He has done relatively well with Spartak Moscow - which is great, because he was going nowhere with Lokomotiv. This put his career back on track. I don't understand who would be saying he was ready to cross the pond, because he is not. Physically he is not big, and he doesn't really fight/is a bit soft. His hands are about average or a little better, I haven't seen him really do any impressive moves around defenders. He does have a good wrist shot. Honestly - before this year, I wouldn't even consider him much of a prospect, since he didn't do all that well in Lokomotiv- even on their junior team. There was a "reliable rumor" that someone in the organization was pulling him up in the club's ranks beyond what he deserved. He really had little business playing in the Super League in those games last year, and rightfully so was sent back to the junior squad. This year he has improved, so hopefully he sticks with Spartak once (I hope) the club gets promoted to the Super League, and gets some ice time.