Top Russian and Latvian prospects go to the West

Top Russian and Latvian prospects go to the West

29 Jun 2012 | Roman Solovyev

20 Russians were chosen at CHL import draft, among them goalie Andrei Vasilevsky and forwards Nikita Kucherov and Nikolai Prokhorkin.

The most attention should be paid to players of 1995 date of birth who won the Challenge Cup for U-17 in January 2012 at Windsor. That’s why Dynamo forward Ivan Barbashyov goes first to Moncton Wildcats. Ivan Barbashyov is the brother of CSKA Moscow forward Sergei Barbashyov who played at last WJC in Calgary.

Alexander Delnov who returned before the 2011-12 season to Russia and played for Mytishchinskie Atlanty now moved to Canada. First he was drafted by the Florida Panthers, then the team management advised him that he should take a chance to play in CHL and now Seattle Thunderbirds from WHL will have rights on him.

The next two one are defenseman Nikita Zadorov and forward Sergei Tolchinsky, both U-17 and it’s easy to predict that they will use a chance to show their best in Canada. Zadorov with the London Knights, Tolchinsky with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

The notable goalie from Russia U-17 team Nikita Serebryakov was picked by Saginaw Spirit, as our sources told, Dynamo Moscow didn’t even think about if they needed this player or not. Players like Yevgeni Chakhotkin, Vladimir Ionin or Semyon Babintsev are not very well known in Russia, that’s why it’s difficult to say something special about them.

The draft began to become more interesting when Quebec Remparts chose 19-years old forward Nikita Kucherov . Kucherov was drafted by Tampa Bay last year at NHL draft, played some games in KHL and has a desire to play in NHL. His former teammate Mikhail Grigorenko played for Remparts last year, but now Buffalo wants to sign contract with him and give him a chance. For Kucherov it’s too late to start playing at this level, because he can have a game-time in KHL. The same counts for Nikolai Prokhorkin, L.A. Kings prospect with experience in KHL, who was drafted by the London Knights. What they decide? We’ll see.

At number 69 Mississauga Steelheads drafted goalie Andrei Vasilevsky, who was No. 19 at NHL draft last weekend. Vasilevsky has problems with his Russian team Salavat Yulaev which doesn’t want to help this young goalie to become stronger. Vasilevsky has two deals to stay in Russia and play in MHL, or what would be best for him play in OHL or maybe even the Tampa Bay Lightning give him a chance?

At WJC U18 in Czech Republic Latvian national team was one of the most passionate teams, who played as a team and with gloving heart, some of these guys decided to continue their career in North America. The first was Edgars Kulda, the brother of Winnipeg Jets prospect Arturs Kulda. He can join WHL club Edmonton Oil Kings. The captain of that team Nikita Jevpalovs moved to Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. Forward Teddy Blugers who played last year in USHL can play in next season for the Oshawa Generals. One of the best forwards of that team Roberts Lipsbergs can play together with Russian Delnov in Seattle. The last one was defenseman Rinalds Rosinskis, Prince George Cougars drafted him at No. 65.

A lot of Russian and Latvian juniors decide to play next year in CHL, more than during the last years. KHL-MHL system told that they can help prospects to develop, but they should ask themselves why the most talented decide to go to Canada?
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