Petrov

 

The Fantasy Managers’ hunt for talent in Russia goes on. After Viktor Tikhonov’s return people are waiting for Nikita Filatov, but there are other names. There is a big chance that we will finally see Kirill Petrov, and this might be the year for Montreal fans to see Russians actually report, as Maxim Trunev and Alexander Avtsyn may this summer.

 

But let’s start with Petrov. It might sound odd, but the excellent player everyone witnessed at the latest WJC has received little ice time with his KHL squad Ak Bars Kazan and in fact he has been taken out of the lineup and assigned down to the Russian second tier league. At least he isn’t riding the pine,  but still the competition there isn’t that great. He is a very gifted winger with some size and his style would translate well in the NHL, even if he would surely need to spend some time in the AHL adjusting to the more demanding North American style. At this stage of development it’s safe to say that he should have left Russia a year ago...though generally for European players it’s better to stay in their country until they are ready, but only if they actually play. Petrov almost wasted two important years of development.

 

We asked Evgeny Belousov of Russianprospects.com for his take on the matter: “In my opinion, watching him mostly in the Russian First league this year, I believe that there are two ways for him to revive his career. The first is to ask for a trade to another KHL club but I’m pretty sure that Ak Bars Kazan’s management doesn’t want to lose prospects like him. The second way is moving to America, although he’ll obviously have to rebuild himself in the minor leagues for a year or more.”

 

Let’s remember that he was the center of a tug-of-war between New York Islanders’ GM Garth Snow and the Russian Hockey Federation about the release of Anton Klementyev for the WJC. Petrov opted to stay in Russia for the remainder of the season, but I think the Isles will try to lure him to the Big Apple this summer and Petrov will finally be an Islander, as he declared during the WJC. Any fantasy GM who has him in the roster owns a potential second or even first liner. A minimum of 60-70 points is a realistic expectation of his level within the next several seasons.

 

The situation around Trunev and Avtsyn is a bit different. The very first thing that comes to mind is that Petrov didn’t have the CHL option. Both Trunev and Avtsyn turned down offers from the CHL in order to play in the KHL and get pro hockey action. It kind of worked for both. Trunev, 19, hasn’t been on fire in the last two seasons, even though he had little ice time with his KHL team Severstal Cherepovets. Both this year and last season he scored just five points. Another downside for him is that his playing style might not fit well the NHL, being a finesse kind of player, which makes thing happen with his soft hands and great acceleration. “Speaking about Severstal prospect I guess that his destiny depends on next season’s coach”, Belousov said. “If the management allows young Kvartalnov to keep on his team construction, then Trunev would have chances to spend the whole season on the main team, otherwise he’ll have to look for other (options).” Maybe the option will be Montreal.

 

Alexander Avtsyn had a very good first pro season. He was off to a slow start, just like many rookies in any league, but then he had some very good matches in December, when he was surprisingly left off the WJC squad. Unfortunately his good moment was halted by a hand injury that ended his season. The good news for the Habs is that Avtsin seems to be both a better player and more driven toward NHL.

 

“Avtsyn,  as you mentioned correctly, is a younger and more skilled prospect”, added Belousov. “So he has more options to choose in case the new Dynamo coach won’t see him as a team member. Although I really think that their budget will be decreased and team announced new signings like Swede Tony Martensson will be quite unlikely so I think that the Dynamo prospect shouldn’t be worried about his spot within the team or his chances.”

 

The question is only one now. Will he move to Montreal this summer? “Watching his appearance in last year’s NHL draft it seems quite likely”, said Belousov. Pierre Gauthier and many fantasy GMs hope that he is right.

 


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Alessandro Seren Rosso said:

Alessandro Seren Rosso
... Hello Bruno. As long as I know, Avtsin isn't interested in playing in the CHL: http://www.russianhockeyfans.c...e-132.html
And I agree with him.
March 26, 2010
Votes: +0

Bruno Martel said:

bmartel
Avstyn in Mtl next year This week, a reporter ( I think it's Mathias Brunet, in La Presse) quoted Avstyn's agent saying the Russian's "plan A" is to move to Montreal next season to play with the Habs. Brunet suggested that a nice "plan B" would be playing for Montreal Junior in LHJMQ or with the Hamilton Bulldogs. The agent said that for the moment, there's no "plan B".
March 25, 2010
Votes: +0

Alessandro Seren Rosso said:

Alessandro Seren Rosso
... @Katharsis: one bad season can happen. I think he had little motivation this year. Anyhow, to reply to your question, I'd say Petrov. He's more skilled and is younger.
March 25, 2010
Votes: +0

paul said:

donpaulo
... after watching the islanders play the woeful rangers last night I would say they have space and need for Petrov
March 25, 2010
Votes: +0

Katharsis said:

Katharsis
... Ahh yes, haha. The standard line with Russian prospects: "you never know!"

I'm kind of more interested in who you think might be the better NHL player, rather than "Which one will cross the pond?" Say both Petrov and Makarov both come across for training camp next year and were willing to play in the AHL if they didn't make the big club: Who would you rather have?

With the Hawks cap issues, they're going to need a guy like Makarov on a cheap contract to eat up some icetime next year, and considering all I've heard is that he almost made the team this year, I'd assume he's a pretty sure bet to make the team once they clear some room next year. But then he had that big regression this year (9 pts in 51GP vs 16 and 17 pts the previous two years), got dealt to another team, and continued to suck. Still the same player?
March 24, 2010
Votes: +0

Alessandro Seren Rosso said:

Alessandro Seren Rosso
... Hello Katharsis, thanks for your comment. Your question is a tough one. Right now both are kind of risky options as they aren't in America. Right now it looks more likely that Petrov will report, rather than Makarov, but with Russians it's kind of "you never know" and thus maybe at the end Makarov will be a Hawk and Petrov will stay in Russia...
March 24, 2010
Votes: +0

Katharsis said:

Katharsis
... Hey Alessandro, I'm loving the perspective your articles are bringing to the site on these prospects.

You might address this in a future article, but what are your thoughts on Hawks' prospect Igor Makarov and his horrible season this year? I'm trying to decide if it's time to cut bait with him for now in favour of a guy like Petrov.
March 24, 2010
Votes: +0
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