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Author: Eugene Belashchenko ( 01/16/2006
2004-05 Season Scouting Review: Grigori Shafigullin and Konstantin Glazachev (Both Nashville Predators prospects)

2005 Russian Super League

Grigori Shafigullin (Nashville Predators) at the 2003 NHL Entry Draft (Photo Source: Exclusive)
GRIGORI SHAFIGULLIN (Nashville Predators)
In 2004-05, Shafigullin enjoyed the most successful season thus far in his relatively short career. The young forward satisfied Lokomotiv Yaroslavl's new head coach, and as a result Shafigullin enjoyed a lot of ice time. An aggressive forward with good size and speed, he skated in a primarily defensive and checking role with Lokomotiv. The Nashville Predators prospect spent most of the season on the same line with Petr Schastlivy (Phoenix Coyotes) and Denis Shvidki (Florida Panthers). The three enjoyed good chemistry and their line remained constant for most of the season. During 2004-05, the '85 born Grigori Shafigullin concluded his junior hockey career at the U20 WJC in Grand Forks N.D., where he helped the Russian squad earn the silver medals. At the U20 WJC, Shafigullin was primarily used as a dependable depth player on the third line, where he skated with Galimov and Nikulin. The three didn't mesh particularly well together, but each was more than capable of generating offense and created many scoring chances.

NHL Outlook:
Shafigullin matured significantly this season while enjoying the support of Lokomotiv's coaching staff. He showcased his ability to play the North American style of hockey at the U20 WJC. Shafigullin's vision of the ice has improved, but his offensive upside remains average, as he is not a playmaker and still lacks the ability to consistently finish and score.

KONSTANTIN GLAZACHEV (Nashville Predators)
Konstantin Glazachev could not follow up a strong 2003-04 season with an equally strong 2004-05 campain. His season started off badly when he couldn't find a common ground with Lokomotiv's new Finnish head coach, who dictated a higher tempo, more physical style of hockey instead of the traditional Russian combinational style. Glazachev had trouble satisfying the coach's demands, and as a result suffered the consequences of being sent down to the farm team. Unwillingness to apply himself 100% and a bit of an attitude off the ice were a couple of knocks on the technical young forward that led to a drop in his stock into the early second round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. These were also aspects of what Glazachev brought with him that the club's new head coach was unfortunately not willing to ignore. As a result, the prospects of Glazachev skating for Lokomotiv in the RSL were non existent, and the young forward was loaned for three months to Sibir (Novosibirsk). A new beginning with a club without much depth helped Glazachev immensely, as he was thrown into the action right away and quickly proved himself capable of carrying the weight. He spent most of his time in Novosibirsk skating on the second line. Sadly, despite his success in Novosibirsk, his lack of production early in the season cost Glazachev a spot on Russia's U20 squad, and he did not represent his country in Grand Forks at the U20 WJC. In late February Lokomotiv recalled him back to Yaroslavl, but the young forward never saw any ice time and was recalled primarily as a depth player to be held in reserve in case of injury.

NHL Outlook:
Konstantin Glazachev had a difficult 2004-05 season, and has hopefully learned some valuable lessons of how off the ice perceptions can impact a player's career. He should have an easier time earning ice time with Lokomotiv's yet another new head coach, now the renowned Yurzinov, a fan of combinational hockey who lead Russia to the surprising silver medals at the 1998 Olympics. Considering the high pick investment in Glazachev, Nashville's management needs to monitor the young forward's fortunes carefully next season and try to pull him into the AHL if he does not receive the necessary opportunities in Russia.

Related Player Profiles: . K.Glazachev G.Shafigullin
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