Washington Capitals Defensive Prospect Dmitri Orlov.

Washington Capitals Defensive Prospect Dmitri Orlov.

For the elitist few of you who have the NHL Network (the Russian Machine hates you and your fancy Cable options), you’ve had the opportunity to watch the WJC, or the World Junior Hockey Championships. It’s basically an annual event organized by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) which showcases some of the best under-20 players from around the world.

Our beloved Washington Capitals are lucky enough to have 4 players representing them in the tournament this year. The prestigious list includes awesome 2008 First Round Draft Pick John Carlson (USA), 2008 7th Round Draft Pick and Japers Rink favorite Stefan Della Rovere (Canada), 2009 First Round Pick Marcus Johannson (Sweeden), and this post’s namesake 2009 Second Round Draft Pick Dmitri Orlov.

Despite the fact our dear Ruskies were upset in OT by Switzerland 3-2 in the Quarter-Finals Saturday afternoon and were eliminated, we figured it was as good a time as any to ask our resident Translator & Moscow native Fedor Fedin to dig up some information on the relatively unknown 18 year old Orlov. Here’s what he found out:

Who’s Dmitri Orlov?

Q’s and tranlation by Fedor Fedin, A’s by Evgeni Starikov, a huge fan of Metallurg Novokuznetsk -currently Orlov’s team.

Q: The public at large in the U.S. knows only that Orlov is a D-man. Is he a “stay-at-home” defenseman (like Volchenkov) or an offensive defenseman (like Gonchar)?

A: I would say it’s offensive… But we don’t know what the coach says in the locker room. He’s not a “stay-at-home” defenseman, that’s for sure. His attacking skills have actually led him to play some games as a forward. He scored twice that game.

Q: What are his strengths?

A: It’s too early to say, as it’s only his 1st full season as a KHL player. But he’s a good skater and can lead the rush well. Did you see this crazy goal against Torpedo? Ed. Note Fast Forward to 1:13 to see an absolute sick, Mike Green-eque goal:

Q: What does Orlov need to improve on?

A: Everything! Even in weight and build. I would say, that he needs to continue to improve everyday. He must force himself to continue to upgrade his skills. It seems he needs to improve his discipline on the ice. I’ve seen some of his defensive lapses. They are terrible! But he’s played with Maxim Galanov on the first Defensive pair. It’s good for experience. And the current coach of Metallurg Novokuznetsk is a former Defenseman. He has teachers to learn from.

Q: Do you think Dmitri is ready to play in the NHL?

A: NO! I think, he understands that too. I think that it’s far better for him to play couple of years in KHL, and mature as a player. But it’s good for him to visit NHL camps, too. The best way to put it is: Orlov is fertile clay, but he needs a potter for him to continuing developing. And he has to learn English!

Q: Does he have a chance to become an NHL superstar like Mike Green?

A: Mike Green? We call Orlov The Russian Bobby Orr!

Q: When do you think Orlov will make the NHL?

A: I suppose that Dmitri will play for Metallurg another year then he will go for Salavat Yulaev (for example). After 2 years there he’ll probably go to DC.

Here’s what other Russian fans think about Orlov, which has been translated from Metallurg’s fan site.

Q: The public at large in the U.S. knows only that Orlov is a D-man. Is he a “stay-at-home” defenseman or an offensive defenseman?

A: Atacking, like Gonchar (F@nat)

Q: What are his strengths?

A: Great skater, finding partners in attack, strong shot, leadership. Positioning in defense, shot accuracy. (Sergoffan)

A: Skating, strong and accurate “first pass” (starting attack), strongest shot in Metallurg

A: I think, it’s technique and skating. Pretty good shot (F@nat)

Q: What does he need to improve on?

A: Defensive play. He has some failures. Toughness and force, too (F@nat)

Q: Do you think Dmitri is ready to play in the NHL now?

A: Not at this moment. He needs to work couple of years with strong coaches and partners in Russia (Sergoffan)

A: Dima should go to NHL after 3 years. Now he has to get some experience in Russia, and try to make the roster of the National Team (Schtuzer)

A: I think, he’s not ready (F@nat)

Q: Does he have a chance to become an NHL superstar like Mike Green?

A: Chances always exist (F@nat)

A: He will be a star in the NHL in 5 years. But no earlier… (Schtuzer)

A: He has the potential for this. But the people he will meet in next year is very important (Sergoffan)

Q: What’s Orlov like in real life?

A: He’s an amazing guy. He’s kind, fair, and honest. He isn’t arrogant. He will be captain for Russia in a couple of seasons (Schtuzer)

A: Captain, Man… (Sergoffan)

Q: When do you think Orlov will leave for the NHL?

A: I think, he’ll go to America in the next year. In NHL – in 2 seasons (F@nat)

A: He’ll leave Russia in 1-2 years. Next steps will depend on his play in America (Sergoffan)

In Summary, it seems like the Capitals have potentially found another Offensive Gem on the Backline in Orlov if he continues to develop.