|Author: Eugene Belashchenko (RussianProspects Exclusive)||Date: 09/13/2006
|Scouting Report: Energized CSKA Red Army club lead by youth|
|2007 Russian Super League|
Denis Parshin (2004 NHL Entry Draft) battles with Salvat Yulayev during the 2003-04 regular season (photo source: Salavat Yulayev press core)
CSKA Moscow has lost veteran players over the summer, but the club’s
strong development system is paying off and the club’s youth is stepping
up and contributing in key roles. The club’s top forming line is comprised
of Denis Parshin (Colorado), Alexander Nikulin (Ottawa) and Sergei Shirokov
Denis Parshin has been the club’s brightest and most versatile forward.
He has been known for his puckhandling, but has been impressively aggressive
and quick on his feet during the first few games of the season. The young forward
has had many scoring chances and has interacted well with his linemates. Diminutive
in stature, he still does not play physical hockey, but does not hesitate to
drive through traffic, or fight behind the net.
Alexander Nikulin has become the club’s top center. He possesses, size,
speed and puckhandling ability. The young enhances the line with his ability
to carry the puck up the ice and making quick on the move passes to his line
mates. He has also been strong defensively, compensating for defensemen like
Anton Belov who have been contributing heavily in the offensive end of the ice.
The line’s cohesion is still a work in progress, however, as Nikulin has
made several no-look passes while skating in transition during the recent games
that did not precisely meet their targets. Furthermore, Nikulin has been strong
defensively, but needs to use his size better in the role of a defenseman, as
at least on one occasion when a goal was scored against CSKA, he did not properly
cover a forward on his side of the net, acting more as a floating supporting
center rather than a defenseman. Overall, Nikulin’s contribution has been
excellent and he has fully taken over the responsibilities of being CSKA’s
Sergei Shirokov has continued to be one of the club’s top young players,
thus far following strongly to his 2005-06 campaign, despite the departure from
the club his fellow 86 born forward and linemate Nikolai Lemtyugov (St. Louis
Blues). The young forward, while not impressive in size, does not hesitate to
get ‘his nose dirty’ and fight hard against the boards or drive
through traffic. His drive and fighting spirit have really become apparent,
as he continues to create scoring chances despite obstacles and physical pressure.
Shirokov’s puckhandling is also worthy of a note, though at times he needs
to improve his decision-making with the puck, moving it to his linemates sooner.
In addition to the newly formed offensive line, CSKA’s two 86 born defensemen
Kiril Lyamin (Ottawa Senators) and Anton Belov (shocking remains undrafted)
have both made significant impacts. Both young blue liners took over key positions
on the club’s top two defensive pairings. Anton Belov has really surprised
this season with his aggressiveness, speed and immense offensive upside. He
continues to join in the offensive rush, helping his club create significant
offensive chances, including a goal that he scored on himself from in front
of the net. Belov’s performance in the defensive zone continues to improve
and he has been solid in this category. The young defender continues to play
physically, though at times getting in trouble for being overly zealous on a
hit, especially near the boards. Still, while being strong defensively, it is
Belov’s contributions in the offensive zone that demand attention.
Kiril Lyamin, while not standing out to the level of Belov has fully reintegrated
himself as a key member of CSKA after spending a season primarily on the club’s
third or fourth defensive pairings. The young defender brings a physical presence
to the blue line, as well as a powerful slap shot from the blue line.
The aforementioned young players have a unique opportunity with CSKA to take
on leadership roles, while continuing to learn from a group of experienced veteran
players, including former NHL prospect and resident passing center Vadim Epanchintsev
and former marginal NHLer David Nemirovsky. Thus far this special group of youngsters
have taken full advantage of the opportunity and all have significantly boosted
their NHL stock.
Related Player Profiles: . A.Belov K.Lyamin A.Nikulin D.Parshin S.Shirokov
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