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Author: Alessandro Seren RossoDate: 09/14/2009
Russian players to the CHL: a breakdown

2010 Canadian Junior Leagues
If stars Andrei Loktionov (Los Angeles Kings) and Evgeni Grachev (New York Rangers) wonít skate in the CHL the upcoming season, the Canadian junior leagues earned more stars-in-the making as the teams are going to feature a good amount of Russian players anyway.

CHL Import draft first overall pick Stanislav Galiev reported to Saint John after Dynamo Moscow decided to sign the international transfer card back in early September. If heíll have a strong season like he did in the USHL, then he might be drafted in the Top-15.

Kirill Kabanovís situation was harder. As he was first traded from Spartak Moscow to Salavat Yulaev Ufa, he had then decided to report to Moncton, where heís still waiting for his transfer card to make him play in the regular season. But he already reported and itís unlikely that something will rule him out from the QMJHL for this year.

With the twelfth overall pick the Barrie Colts selected Alexander Burmistrov. The young center, who played very well in the last U18 WJC, has been released under the promise to get back after one year. Will he? Weíll see, but for now Burmistrov is one of the top candidates to repeat Loktionovís season in 09-10 and we really believe that his stock will significant improve after his first OHL season.

Three picks down Burmistrov the Owen Sound Attack selected Roman Berdnikov, who didnít skate in the Ivan Hlinka tournament because of an injury. The young right wing from Avangaard Omsk should be able to play a core role in the team and weíll see how he will be used in the OHL opener scheduled for September 17th (vs Burmistrovís Barrie).

The first drafted player from the post soviet space has been Belarusí Evgeny Solomonov with the 31st pick, whoíll play with the Montreal Juniors, Dmitri Kostromitinís former team. The left wing from Gomel has a lot to prove, but he scored already in the seasonís first match.

A little bit later the WHL picked the first Russian too as the Seattle Thunderbirds drafted the less known Mikhail Sentyurin from Dynamo Moscow. He is yet to play a match for his team, but hopefully he will soon.

The following pick, 36th overall, has been used by the Erie Otters of the OHL to draft the big goalie Ramis Sadikov, who stopped 36 out of 40 shots on his preseason debut. Itís still unknown whether heíll be the starting goalie for the Otters this year as they might count on Tampa Bay Draftee Jaroslav Janus. If the Slovak will make the cut in the NHL or in the AHL, then Sadikov will get the starting duties.

Three picks down appeared another very interesting pick. Stefan Stepanov, 2011 eligible, has already reported and will patrol the Sudbury Wolves blue line in the upcoming season. The tall, offensive defenseman still has to bulk up a bit, but he earned a lot of experience last season and we do believe that he might be one of the OHL top rookies this season, especially if we consider defensemen only.

2010 eligible Ivan Telegin has been finally signed by the Saginaw Spirit, who picked him with the 42nd overall pick. Letís remember that he bought his contract out in order to play in the CHL. It will be interesting to see how the center will perform this season and if he will raise his stock for the draft. Probably heís also an underrated player in the North American audience as he isnít a hyped name, but he played with Russia-92 in the same line as Vladimir Tarasenko and Kirill Kabanov.

The first not reporting player has been Alexander Avtsin (Montreal Canadiens), chosen by the Quebec Remparts, who opted to spend a further season in Russia, just like Nikita Pivtsakin, picked by the Shawinigan Cataractes.

With the 51st pick the Brampton Battalions selected Valeri Knyazev, who is kind of unknown having spent a lot of time in Czech Republic, playing in Prague, while Sudbury got another import in Latvian Edijs Leitans-Rinke.

The 55th and 58th have been used for a couple of NHL drafted players, who arenít going to report. They are Alexander Pechursky (Pittsburgh Penguins) and Anton Klementyev (New York Islanders).

The Acadie-Bathurst Titan of the QMJHL will feature in their 2009-10 lineup Ilya Mashentsov. A player who can play both center and wing, Mashentsov is a smart player with good touch who might turn some heads. Heís a surprise pick, it will be interesting to see his rate of success.

If the Tri-City Americans wonít count on Alexander Pechursky (Pittsburgh Penguins), the other import they picked has reported. Sergei Drozd from Minsk, Belarus, is an experienced center with international and KHL experience and has already wrote his name in the score sheet in the preseason. Surprisingly not picked in the last two draft, now he has a better chance for the 2010 selections.

Barrie Colts, who signed Alexander Burmistrov as we said earlier, tried out also their other import selected Denis Gladkov, but they judged him not good enough and told him to retry next year. Also Barrieís second selection, forward from Omsk Viktor Perezhogin isnít likely to report because of the goalkeepers situation (Janus Ė Sadikov), but the coach is trying to get him maybe as insurance, in case Janus will stay with the pros. The last Russian selected, Vadim Guskov, a late 91 born and thus eligible for the 2010 NHL Draft, has reported and joined the other Russian in the team, defenseman Evgeny Molotilov.

Related Player Profiles: . A.Avtsin R.Berdnikov A.Burmistrov S.Galiev E.Grachev V.Guskov K.Kabanov A.Klementyev D.Kostromitin A.Loktionov I.Mashentsov E.Molotilov A.Pechursky N.Pivtsakin R.Sadikov M.Sentyurin S.Stepanov V.Tarasenko I.Telegin
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