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Name: Dmitri KokorevCalgary Flames (#51/1997 NHL Draft)

Rating: 56
Height: 192cm/6'4"
Weight: 92kg/202.4 lb
Position: Defenseman
Shoots: Left
Born: 1979-01-09
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

Game Worn Jerseys:
1999-00 Dynamo Moscow Away - Sold
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Talent Analysis:
Dmitri Kokorev is a gifted defenseman with great size who has been labeled by some scouts as the prototypical Russian style two way defensman. At 6’3 and 200 pounds, Dmitri has the physical potential suitable for the NHL. In addition to his impressive size, Dmitri has surprisingly strong puckhandling skills. Although Dmitri has been labeled as a defensive defenseman, his puck handling skills and decent skating have both shaped him into a credible offensive threat. Despite his array of skills and raw talent, Dmitri is not physical enough for the NHL. Dmitri does not stay away from contact, in fact he suffered the back injury that knocked him out of the 1999-00 playoffs while trying to hit an opponent, however his style of play is European, so though he does cover the whole ice, he does not play the physical game against the opponents at all times. Dmitri has also suffered two serious injuries in the last two years that sidelined him for the most of the last two seasons. .." Dmitri Kokorev is a gifted defenseman with great size who has been labeled by some scouts as the prototypical Russian style two way defensman. At 6’3 and 200 pounds, Dmitri has the physical potential suitable for the NHL. In addition to his impressive size, Dmitri has surprisingly strong puckhandling skills. Although Dmitri has been labeled as a defensive defenseman, his puck handling skills and decent skating have both shaped him into a credible offensive threat. Despite his array of skills and raw talent, Dmitri is not physical enough for the NHL. Dmitri does not stay away from contact, in fact he suffered the back injury that knocked him out of the 1999-00 playoffs while trying to hit an opponent, however his style of play is European, so though he does cover the whole ice, he does not play the physical game against the opponents at all times. Dmitri has also suffered two serious injuries in the last two years that sidelined him for the most of the last two seasons. .." Dmitri Kokorev is a gifted defenseman with great size who has been labeled by some scouts as the prototypical Russian style two way defensman. At 6’3 and 200 pounds, Dmitri has the physical potential suitable for the NHL. In addition to his impressive size, Dmitri has surprisingly strong puckhandling skills. Although Dmitri has been labeled as a defensive defenseman, his puck handling skills and decent skating have both shaped him into a credible offensive threat. Despite his array of skills and raw talent, Dmitri is not physical enough for the NHL. Dmitri does not stay away from contact, in fact he suffered the back injury that knocked him out of the 1999-00 playoffs while trying to hit an opponent, however his style of play is European, so though he does cover the whole ice, he does not play the physical game against the opponents at all times. Dmitri has also suffered two serious injuries in the last two years that sidelined him for the most of the last two seasons. .."

There have been concerned that Dmitri Kokorev has become injury prone, a Russian hockey expert Max Dostoevsky says that Kokorev may have trouble in the NHL "primarily because of his fragility." Maxim Dostoevsky also feels that "his [Kokorev’s] development has been negatively impacted [ by the injuries]". Whether that is true remains to be seen as Dmitri Kokorev is only 21 years old and has played very well with Dynamo Moscow since coming back from his back injury and being recalled by Dynamo Moscow in early March, playing physically and logging about 15 minutes per game.
Back In Russia:
2003-04: During the summer of ’03, Kokorev’s rights for the next two seasons were bought from Sibir by Spartak Moscow, which was just relegated into the Upper League. Hopefully the once touted defenseman will be able to recover and take on a leading role in the Upper League. 2002-03: Kokorev delivered his first injury free season. However, he did spend about half of it on Sibir’s bench. Still, Kokorev showed that he could compete in the Super League. 2001-2002: Dmitri had a rough couple of seasons from 1999-2001 due to several injuries that sidelined him and delayed his development. After a terrible 2000-01 season, Dynamo Moscow ventured into the free agent market and created a very formidable team. The new moves included attracting capable defensemen like Vyshedkevich and Skopintsev from the NHL and Alexander Nizhiviy from Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. These roster move left little space for young defensemen like Washington Capitals prospect Igor Schadilov and Dmitri Kokorev. In the case of Igor, Dynamo released him, allowing him to seek other opportunities. Dynamo retained the rights to Dmitri Kokorev, and instead of relegating him to a lower league, they loaned him to CSKA Moscow. While CSKA Moscow is a not a favorite in the Super League, the team’s lower level of talent gave Dmitri an opportunity to log serious ice time. He has been skating consistently on the team’s third defensive pairing. Thus far CSKA remains at the bottom of the Super League’s rankings. Dmitri has been playing fairly well, but has been hardly noticeable on the offense, but then again, neither has the rest of CSKA with the exceptions of Philadelphia’s Alexander Drozdetsky and Edmonton’s Oleg Smirnov.

Dmitri Kokorev started his career as a soccer player in the Dynamo Moscow system, as his father was a professional player for Spartak Moscow. After giving up soccer for hockey, Dmitri remained loyal to Dynamo and simply switched from soccer to hockey. Dmitri Kokorev. After solving the small problem of not knowing how to skate well, Dmitri joined Dynamo’s junior team, Dynamo 2 in 1996. Two years after joining Dynamo 2, in the second half of the 98-99 season, Dmitri was promoted to a secure position on Dynamo’s main roster. During that season Dmitri played total 35 games for Dynamo, including 6 playoff games during which he scored the first goal of his Super League career.

Dmitri’s ascension to the team’s main roster, combined with his excellent performance at the 1999 Under 20 World Junior Championships indicated that this was a player on his way up. He picked up the next season on that note, playing 23 games for Dynamo and 20 games for HK Tver of the Upper League, to which he was loaned by Dynamo. In Tver Dmitri found his scoring touch, racking up 9 points (6+3) in 20 games. Though the quality of hockey was lower then in the Super League, he never scored that many points for Dynamo’s farm team. Dynamo then recalled Dmitri from Tver in time for the playoffs to reinforce their defense. In this moment for him to shine, Dmitri suffers a back injury while attempting to check another player and is knocked out of the playoffs, forced to watch his teammates bring Dynamo the Championship. Dmitri spent the next few months recovering from the injury, only to suffer another one in the beginning of the 00-01 season that knocked him out for almost 5 months. Dmitri has come back for Dynamo in the beginning of the second phase of the 00-01 season in the beginning of March and has displayed a strong physical game, showing to evidence of the injuries that sidelined him for at least a season.

Dmitri Kokorev participated in the 1999 Under 20 World Junior Championships. There he was labeled as one of the best players of the tournament and helped Russia win the gold medal with his great defensive play, ammasing a +/- rating of +11 in just 7 games. Kokorev also displayed his offensive abilities, also registering three assists.
NHL Outlook:
In 1997 THN reported that "...he's [Dmitri Kokorev] not a dominant player, but is big and strong enough to merit a lot of consideration " and also mentioned that some NHL scouts surveyed by THN prior to the 1999 NHL Entry Draft thought that Dmitri could have been taken in the first round. Dmitri did not get drafted in the first round and the Calgary Flames management were ecstatic to be able to draft him with the 51st overall pick. Dmitri was not worried about adjusting to the North American style of play and in fact was happy with his performance on the smaller ice surfaces: "You have to be quicker because there's more hits and you have to get rid of the puck quickly,.... I'm trying my best, but you get a little tired and miss some things."

After developing in Russia, Dmitri seemed bound to make Calgary’s 2000 training camp. "Next year I'll be out of the army, so if they invite me, I'll be happy to go," said Kokorev, a member of the Russian border patrol. However due to a series of injuries sustained in the spring and fall of 2000, Dmitri was unable to attend the training camp. Dmitri’s development has been negatively impacted by the injuries. However, he returned to Dynamo Moscow in early March, 2001 and has played very well. If Dmitri does not get injured again and continues his development there is a strong possibility he will be in camp this summer, and might even earn himself a spot on the Calgary’s roster. His agent, Sergei Isakov has brought over guys like Oleg Tverdosvky and Anrei Markov, so hopefully he can help Dmitri Kokorev.
Statistics:
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM +/-
2005-06 Khimik 2 (Vosskresensk) High League (Reg.)24 1 9 10 85 12
2004-05 Vityaz (Chekhov) High League (Playoffs)7 1 2 3 6 +6
2004-05 Vityaz Podolsk High League (Reg.)47 4 11 15 64 +11
2003-04 Khimik Voskresensk Super League (Reg.)10 1 2 3 12 -
2003-04 Spartak (Moscow) Upper League (Reg.)15 0 0 0 10 +4
2002-03 Sibir Novosibirsk Super League (Reg.)26 0 1 1 59 -4
2001-02 CSKA (Moscow) Super League (Reg.)31 0 4 4 28 -25
2001-02 CSKA 2 1st League (Juniors)11 2 2 4 22 -
2000-01 Dynamo (Moscow) Super League (Relegation)5 0 1 1 4 -
1999-00 U20 Team Russia U20 IIHF WJC (Intl.)7 0 3 3 2 11
1999-00 THK Tver Upper League (Reg.)20 6 3 9 32 -
1999-00 Dynamo (Moscow) Super League (Playoffs)1 0 0 0 0 -
1999-00 Dynamo (Moscow) Super League (Reg.)23 0 1 1 14 -
1998-99 Dynamo 2 1st League (Juniors)14 0 2 2 20 -
1998-99 Dynamo (Moscow) Super League (Playoffs)6 1 0 1 0 1
1998-99 Dynamo (Moscow) Super League (Reg.)29 0 1 1 20 10
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