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06-14-2010, 03:31 PM
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STL fan in IA
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Blues sign Nikita Nikitin

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The Blues have signed 2004 5th rounder Nikita Nikitin. I see this as a very interesting move. He's a big boy and has established himself as a top d-man in Russia. I can't imagine he would be willing to play in Peoria so perhaps his game has developed to the level to where he can step right into the NHL.

JD says Nikitin will be in camp in the fall - LINK

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06-14-2010, 03:52 PM
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I sure would like for one of the more obscure prospects (non-USA, non-first couple rounds) to show up at camp and force his way onto the regular season roster. Nikitin (reminds me of those Rock skits for Nicotrel, the smoking-cessation guy) is a great example of this.

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06-14-2010, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by STL fan in IA View Post
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The Blues have signed 2004 5th rounder Nikita Nikitin. I see this as a very interesting move. He's a big boy and has established himself as a top d-man in Russia. I can't imagine he would be willing to play in Peoria so perhaps his game has developed to the level to where he can step right into the NHL.

JD says Nikitin will be in camp in the fall - LINK
This is the guy I have been excited about for the last 5 years. I was thinking he would never ever come over, but boy would he ever be a bit addition to the team.

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06-14-2010, 04:28 PM
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Wow we signed two russians that I had long filed in the "fat chance" category. In one offseason none the less! Who's next Braulin(sp)?

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06-14-2010, 05:35 PM
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Wow we signed two russians that I had long filed in the "fat chance" category. In one offseason none the less! Who's next Braulin(sp)?
I assume the 2nd Russian you are referring to is Skachkov? Turns out that was a false report. Skachkov signed with Ak Bars of the KHL a week ago. LINK

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06-14-2010, 05:37 PM
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Been a while since of heard this name anywhere lol

Anyone remind me what kinda player he is? or anyone seen video, or him live? Reasonable prediction for his next 2-3 years?

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06-14-2010, 05:43 PM
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Been a while since of heard this name anywhere lol

Anyone remind me what kinda player he is? or anyone seen video, or him live? Reasonable prediction for his next 2-3 years?
The last time I saw him play was the 2006 WJC's...so it's been a while but he was impressive back then (knocked USA's TJ Oshie on his butt with a monster hit). Based on what I've heard of his game recently, he plays a similar game to Polak only he's 6'4" - skates like the wind, is very solid defensively, isn't an offensive d-man but can contribute some offensively - more of a two-way guy. He transitions the puck well with good outlet passes, is one of the KHL's top d-men and plays a mean and nasty style.

He'll be in camp and I expect him to seriously push for a spot. He's 24 so even though he doesn't have any NHL experience, it's not the same as if he was coming over at age 20, which is when Polak came to N.A.

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06-14-2010, 05:47 PM
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Even if he's solid, he'll have a tough time cracking the Blues' defensive roster. Unless we move Jackman or Brewer or both.

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06-14-2010, 06:08 PM
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And his birthday is on the 16th, so happy early birthday to him.

With this signing, I think it's clear that the Blues are seriously considering dealing one of Brewer or Jackman, especially since Pietrangelo is set to make his debut as well. If Nikitin makes the team, and neither Brewer or Jackman have been traded at the draft, I'm guessing Pietrangelo will have to start the season in the AHL until one of Brewer or Jackman is traded.

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06-14-2010, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by SneakerPimp82 View Post
And his birthday is on the 16th, so happy early birthday to him.

With this signing, I think it's clear that the Blues are seriously considering dealing one of Brewer or Jackman, especially since Pietrangelo is set to make his debut as well. If Nikitin makes the team, and neither Brewer or Jackman have been traded at the draft, I'm guessing Pietrangelo will have to start the season in the AHL until one of Brewer or Jackman is traded.
I dont think it means anything more than they signed a talented defensive prospect. Defensemen we have under contract next year are Polak, Brewer, Jackman, and Pietrangelo, and Johnson is a RFA and will almost certainly be back. We still need another defenseman, and my guess is we carry 7, so that is two more. So even if we sign/resign Carlo, Weaver, or anyone else, there is still probably a spot there for someone.

If anything, it probably hurts Cole's chances of making the team more than Pietrangelo. If Cole and Nikitin both show that they are capable NHLers at training camp, I think the Blues would go with the older and more experienced Nikitin, especially since I doubt he goes to Peoria. No way they carry 3 of 7 defenseman that have almost no NA pro experience.

But the bottom line is that outside of Doug Armstrong, almost no one in St. Louis has seen Nikitin play live, and you never know what the learning curve is, especially for a defenseman in the NHL. Im excited for his potential, but until training camp starts, we have zero clue how this will work out, so lets not make plans for trading anyone based on a complete unknown just yet.

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06-14-2010, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by SneakerPimp82 View Post
And his birthday is on the 16th, so happy early birthday to him.

With this signing, I think it's clear that the Blues are seriously considering dealing one of Brewer or Jackman, especially since Pietrangelo is set to make his debut as well. If Nikitin makes the team, and neither Brewer or Jackman have been traded at the draft, I'm guessing Pietrangelo will have to start the season in the AHL until one of Brewer or Jackman is traded.
I'm inclined to agree with you on this BigPimpin'. I'm guessing Jackman is dealt sooner rather than later.

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06-14-2010, 07:05 PM
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I'm inclined to agree with you on this BigPimpin'. I'm guessing Jackman is dealt sooner rather than later.
Jackman leaves only if Jackman wants to leave. His NTC says "what's up?"

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06-14-2010, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by STL fan in IA View Post
I assume the 2nd Russian you are referring to is Skachkov? Turns out that was a false report. Skachkov signed with Ak Bars of the KHL a week ago. LINK
Ahh so he didn't sign with us after all? I was under the impression that was a backup move in case he didn't make the cut here. Oh well

Back to Nikitin he seems like an intriguing prospect. If he really is another Polak type who can play some solid, physical D and move the puck a bit this could be a nice addition for us.

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06-14-2010, 08:33 PM
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This is a great coup for Kekkalainen and Armstrong. Nikitin was listed at only 5-11, 178 when he was drafted in 2004. 6-3 or 6-4, 215 is a very nice size to combine with playing with a physical edge, playing responsibly in one's own end, making a good outlet pass, and having a reasonably decent shot.

There WILL be room for a player like that on The Blues' blueline. He could start in Peoria for 20-30 game NA orientation, or, possibly make The Blues out of camp. His presence would surely keep Cole from making the team straight from camp. But, I don't expect that to happen in any case. There would still be room for Pietrangelo.

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06-14-2010, 11:44 PM
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This is a great coup for Kekkalainen and Armstrong. Nikitin was listed at only 5-11, 178 when he was drafted in 2004. 6-3 or 6-4, 215 is a very nice size to combine with playing with a physical edge, playing responsibly in one's own end, making a good outlet pass, and having a reasonably decent shot.

There WILL be room for a player like that on The Blues' blueline. He could start in Peoria for 20-30 game NA orientation, or, possibly make The Blues out of camp. His presence would surely keep Cole from making the team straight from camp. But, I don't expect that to happen in any case. There would still be room for Pietrangelo.
Yeah I think both Cole and the Rivermen will need to benefit from his success in the AHL next year. If he's not ready to leapfrog some depth then he's definitely a good candidate for the top pair or #3 spot in Peoria.

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06-14-2010, 11:44 PM
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Jackman leaves only if Jackman wants to leave. His NTC says "what's up?"
I think he'd waive it.

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06-14-2010, 11:53 PM
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Then again, I think we are all missing the obvious. With Nikitin signed and Cole already on his way, Polak may be the guy who is traded off. Polak has proven himself already and will fetch a good young winger by himself and, in a package, The Blues may be able to fill a need. JD can deal from a proven strength because there are reinforcements on the way and they look good.

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06-15-2010, 12:52 AM
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i have a russian hater rep here, but man, some of you guys are way off about this guy. He is 1 of the biggest scapegoats in khl. And he is anything but solid defensivly.

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06-15-2010, 01:43 AM
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Then again, I think we are all missing the obvious. With Nikitin signed and Cole already on his way, Polak may be the guy who is traded off. Polak has proven himself already and will fetch a good young winger by himself and, in a package, The Blues may be able to fill a need. JD can deal from a proven strength because there are reinforcements on the way and they look good.
The Blues will not trade proven young talent. Polak may have already hit his ceiling or come close to it, and his value is probably higher then it will ever be, but why trade him. Trading either Jackman or Polak creates a hole on the Blue line. Polak was the Blues most study and reliable guy last year. I would not want to trade him just to make room for Nikitin. Who knows if this guy can even play at the NHL level?

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06-15-2010, 02:33 AM
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The Blues will not trade proven young talent. Polak may have already hit his ceiling or come close to it, and his value is probably higher then it will ever be, but why trade him. Trading either Jackman or Polak creates a hole on the Blue line. Polak was the Blues most study and reliable guy last year. I would not want to trade him just to make room for Nikitin. Who knows if this guy can even play at the NHL level?
I'm really referring to Cole. Nikitin is hit or miss. If Ponich develops, then he can possibly fill the role of Polak. We all know that eventually JD is going to trade away some pieces (roster players and/or prospects) in order to fill a need. That need might be easier to fill by offering a roster player right back. The Blues' strength is defensive depth. They could trade away blue chip prospects or veterans.

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06-15-2010, 03:10 AM
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Originally Posted by ibleedblue8 View Post
The Blues will not trade proven young talent. Polak may have already hit his ceiling or come close to it, and his value is probably higher then it will ever be, but why trade him. Trading either Jackman or Polak creates a hole on the Blue line. Polak was the Blues most study and reliable guy last year. I would not want to trade him just to make room for Nikitin. Who knows if this guy can even play at the NHL level?
Well first off...I think we'd all trade Brewer. Problem is his value is low or negative (with the contract). Just moving him for nothing wouldn't be too bad, although I still hold out hope that he can be useful in a lesser role (and with another year away from surgery).

Jackman has value, and has a contract that would be nice to clear off the books. But he also has more experience than most of our Blueline. Is Polak ready to replace Jackman completely as the anchor for the D? (If so, I'd really like Weaver resigned for a steady experienced guy back there.)

If Jackman can't be moved, or the notion of bringing in so much youth (Pietro, Cole, Nikitin) dissuades the front office from moving Jackman, Polak is a guy that would be easy to move. He's been a great player for the Blues, strong as an ox, has a great contract, and full of youth. He may yet develop a little more offense to his game. His return should be a young top 6 forward, or similar value.

I'll be surprised if the Blues move no one on D. In a perfect world, they'd be able to get rid of Brewer for nothing painful and sign Martin to that contract.

I've said this before...but I think this is the season where the front office shows their mettle. The moves made this off-season and prior to the trade deadline are going to shape the team as it emerges as a legit contender. They can't sit pat any more. They may have to create some opportunities. As a fan, I could use a good trade or something to revive my faith in the process. With the ownership issue, I'm starting to have some doubts about getting to the end of the rainbow.

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06-15-2010, 04:47 AM
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Garl
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This is a great coup for Kekkalainen and Armstrong. Nikitin was listed at only 5-11, 178 when he was drafted in 2004. 6-3 or 6-4, 215 is a very nice size to combine with playing with a physical edge, playing responsibly in one's own end, making a good outlet pass, and having a reasonably decent shot.
There WILL be room for a player like that on The Blues' blueline. He could start in Peoria for 20-30 game NA orientation, or, possibly make The Blues out of camp. His presence would surely keep Cole from making the team straight from camp. But, I don't expect that to happen in any case. There would still be room for Pietrangelo.
You're talking about Nikita Nikitin?
Physical edge-not so much, definately weaker than Polak, not a total sissy though.
Good in own end-A big no, ask Avangard fans about that.
Good passes- Hadn't seen it in KHL.
Decent shot-not bad but not great too.

He is also a mediocre skater and is not really skilled. Junland for example is definately way better than him.

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06-15-2010, 07:04 AM
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You're talking about Nikita Nikitin?
Physical edge-not so much, definately weaker than Polak, not a total sissy though.
Good in own end-A big no, ask Avangard fans about that.
Good passes- Hadn't seen it in KHL.
Decent shot-not bad but not great too.

He is also a mediocre skater and is not really skilled. Junland for example is definately way better than him.
And you've seen him play how many times?
Got any links to those Avangard fans comments?

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06-15-2010, 08:04 AM
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I watched him play last year, reminds me of wagner in a lot of ways, leaves you wanting more.

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06-15-2010, 08:53 AM
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Garl
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And you've seen him play how many times?
Got any links to those Avangard fans comments?
Around 15 times last season I guess? I live in Russia.

As for links, you probably don't speak russian but for example here:

http://allhockey.ru/news/79344/

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