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Author: Alessandro Seren RossoDate: 01/25/2009
Alexander Vasiliev back on track with Vityaz Chekhov

2009 Continental Hockey League (KHL)

Alexander Vasiliev back on track with Vityaz Chekhov
Alexander Vasiliev is a nineteen years old right wing with a knack for scoring. He is a player that was a bit overhyped back in the days as he has been overlooked in the past two drafts and, more importantly, for the major tournaments with team Russia after the 2006-07 season. In that year he had a very strong Ivan Hlinka tournament, as Russia conquered a bronze medal and he was the team’s top scorer, outscoring the likes of Alexei Cherepanov (New York Rangers), Evgeni Dadonov (Florida Panthers) and Sergei Korostin (Dallas Stars).

It was looking like in Russia another star was born as his name started being pronounced by many. But then something went wrong. He had already entered the Dynamo Moscow system, two years earlier. Prior of the 2004/05 season he played hockey in Elektrostal and in Yaroslavl. In Dynamo, under Krikunov, he never seen RSL icetime and thus he decided to leave the team after the 2006/07 season in order to get the playing time he needed at such stage of development. He opted for a tryout with SKA St. Petersburg, but he didn’t made the cut for the main team. After the fail he joined Russian High League team Neftyanik Leninogorsk, but he had no luck there too as he was left scoreless after eight game. He played very well with SKA junior farm team, but the competition there isn’t too high. As a result of this he was overlooked in his draft year and was left out from the hockey that counts.

Gifted with both skating and skills he could not pass long time unobserved and thus he was signed to a deal by uncompetitive KHL team Vityaz Chekhov. And there the music changed. Placed by his head coach Mike Krushelnitsky on a very young line with center Vadim Berdnikov and left wing Maxim Kartoshkin, he recovered the lost ground in the past two years having scored so far fourteen points in fourteen matches with the red-coloured team that plays in a hangar-like arena in Chekhov, in the Moscow Region. Russianprospects.com seen him playing against Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in a match where he scored a goal late in the first period to give his team the lead in a match that they eventually won 2-1 with an overtime goal by his line mate Vadim Berdnikov assisted by him. As said, in the end of the first period, he got a puck off a turnover by the opponents picked up by Berard. Once with the puck he skated through the neutral zone to beat Georgi Gelashvili with a quick wrist shot in the top left corner for a nice goal. The score board was signing the 19’35”. The regulation ended 1-1 because of a goal by Josef Vasicek midway through the game, but in the consequent overtime Vasiliev was again on the highlights machine as he picked up a puck deep in the own zone and skated down the right flank to serve the rushing Berdnikov on the weak side for an easy – yet decisive – goal.

And this was the chronicle. But what kind of a player he is? He’s a quick, gifted player who is very, very good when the game opens up. Thanks to his flawless stickhandling and burning speed he can make things happen every time he is on the ice as defenders find usually hard time in coping with his speed. The downsides are that he not always plays as good as he can and that his defensive play is close to zero. He likes to stay near the blue line waiting for a puck that would launch him on a quick counterattack. Such a style is sometimes fun to watch as he can heat up the crowd with a couple of fancy moves most of times, but it would be not useful in a top team as to face the big franchises you need to cover well your zone and to play tightly back in the own third. He’s not overly hurt by the physical play, but he needs to work on his game along the boards and behind the crease as he’s not as effective as with the open ice. Now that finally he demonstrated that he can make it through many things can happen. At first he needs to demonstrate that he can keep his pace up to the end of the regular season, because he showed a lot in these fourteen games, but it’s still a limited span. It could be possible that some NHL team see his play in the end of the season and decide to take a gamble with a late rounds pick, but again, this would be risky too because surely the big KHL teams won’t ignore him once the season is over…

Scouting notes from the match

Dmitri Megalinsky (Ottawa Senators)
Played an okay game in the second pairing…has imposed his size with some good, clean hits along the boards…improved in skating and stickhandling…has to work on consistence throughout the game…

Vladislav Evseev (Boston Bruins)
Skates as first line left winger…hasn’t impressed in the game, but had a good chance in the overtime with a wrist shot gloved by Gelashvili…

Vitali Anikienko (Ottawa Senators)
Has assisted Lokomotiv’s goal…his shot created some havoc in front of the home goalkeeper…good game overall, with a good level of physical play…


Related Player Profiles: . V.Anikienko A.Cherepanov E.Dadonov V.Evseev S.Korostin D.Megalinsky A.Vasiliev
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