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Author: Alessandro Seren Rosso (RP Exclusive)Date: 10/17/2009
Scout evaluation: Alexander Avtsin (Montreal Canadiens)

2010 Kontinental Hockey League (KHL)

After Sergei Ketov has been fired from Dynamo Moscow's head coach position, former Soviet star Andrei Khomutov took his place and he surprisingly gave Alexander Avtsin (Montreal Canadiens) a stable spot in the lineup. Even if in the fourth line, Avtsin gets now regular ice time with Dynamo Moscow and his role grows match after match.

In this particular game, which Dynamo won 4-3 against SKA St. Petersburg, Alexander Avtsin (Montreal Canadiens) played as fourth line left winger, with center Anton Krysanov (Phoenix Coyotes) and right wing Denis Tolpeko. Since the start the crowd could admire his flawless skating, joined to an excellent top speed and acceleration that makes him one of the fastest players of the team, despite he doesn't have too much time to display that. His line at least in the first period often faced opponents' first unit, made up of Alexei Yashin, Petr Cajanek and Maxim Sushinsky, certainly not a good test. They didn't look out of place and even if they hurt the impact of such a great troika, they didn't allow goals nor particular big chances. An area that Avtsin showed the need to work on is his passing game. For the whole game he simply delivered the puck to the nearest line mate trying to go to the net or to search space forward. On the other hand, he looked comfortable both with and without the puck. At the seventh minute he used twice his excellent speed to get in dangerous position. First Denis Tolpeko dumped the puck in the zone towards him, finding him beyond the goal line on the other side, even if the rush has been wasted because of an error of the same Tolpedo. Not much later he burned a defenseman with his speed, calling a pass from Krysanov, but the invite has been intercepted by a blue liner. It could have been Avtsin's first goal in the KHL, which doesn't look to be a far result considering how well he is doing lately. Another surprise for this game was his defensive play. Certainly, he's not a defensive specialist and will never be one, but he tried really hard in any shift, often trying to play physically and to bother the opponents touching them not dirtily. His speed is also useful in defensive situations too as it permits Avtsin to get back quickly. He also keeps on getting his feet moving and that's helpful too, especially if his team gains a puck after a turnover and needs to get in the other zone quickly. Unfortunately Avtsin hasn't been played much in the second period, when Anton Krysanov (Phoenix Coyotes) was moved up to the third line to join veteran Vadim Epanchintsev and Dmitri Shitikov, demoting Ivan Nepriaev in the fourth unit. Down by two goals, Khomutov preferred playing the top lines more and he was right at the end as they managed to grab three points against a fierce opponent.

To sum it up, Alexander Avtsin (Montreal Canadiens) played a good match, especially considering that he didn't play a lot. He made no errors and gave the hundred percent in all the shifts, even back in the own zone, were doesn't excel. He also needs to bulk up and working on his passing play, but his combination of a smooth skating and above average technique makes him a valuable, reliable player even for a team of Dynamo Moscow's caliber. He needs to play a little bit more, but all will arrive with the time.

Related Player Profiles: . A.Avtsin A.Krysanov D.Shitikov M.Sushinsky D.Tolpeko A.Yashin
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