Will The Caps Draft Another Russian In The First Round?

Alex Ovechkin Drafted First in the 2004 Draft is seen here posing with Ted Leonsis and George McPhee. Photo by REUTERS/Ellen Ozier

Since taking Alex Ovechkin with the First Overall Pick in the 2004 Draft, the Washington Capitals have selected 5 Russians in the Draft since. Some of the notables include Dmitri Kugryshev (Be his friend on facebook), goal-sabotager Semyon Varlamov and (The second coming of Bobby Orr) Dmitri Orlov.

Well this year, with the Capitals atop the league standings and readying for a deep run in the playoffs (despite what R.J. Umberger thinks), RMNB is here to profile 3 talented Russian Prospects that could fall to the end of the first round of this year’s entry draft which will be held June 25–26, 2010 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

Who are they? RMNB Russian Correspondent Fedor Fedin did days worth of research and here’s what he found.

Going off of projections by 14 respected NHL Draft websites, we find that Evgeni Kuznetsov, Stanislav Galiev & Maxim Kitsyn are generally considered late first round talents.

Evgeni Kuznetsov Stanislav Galiev Maxim Kitsyn
SenShot Not in top-30 Not in top-30 Not in top-30
The Hockey Writers 27 13 15
My NHL Draft 22 26 Not in top-30
NHL Young Guns 21 11 9
School Your Pool.com 18 23 27
The Hockey Rube 29 23 Not in top-30
DobberHockey 23 Not in top-30 Not in top-30
MockDraftGurus 28 Not in top-30 23
ChickenMan 28 19 Not in top-30
FutureConsiderations 28 30 Not in top-30
DraftSite.com 69 24 79
International Scouting Services Hockey 21 19 27
Red Line Report 22 13 Info is not available
North American Central Scouting 19 9 30
The Red Mile 29 24 Not in top-30

I. Evgeni Kuznetsov Evgeni-Kuznetsov

Current Club: Traktor Chelyabinsk (KHL) / White Bears (MHL)

Position: LW

Height / Weight: 180cm (5’11“) / 77kg (169.4 lbs)

Stats: KHL: 28 games (4 in playoffs), 3 goals (1 in playoffs), 8 assists (1 in playoffs). MHL: 11 games (2 in playoffs), 5 goals (1 in playoffs), 14 assists (2 in playoffs). WJC: 6 games. 2 goals, 0 assists.

Interesting Facts: Fans call him the “Malkin of Chelyabinsk”.

Quotes: “My idol is Wayne Gretzky. And my dream is to beat all his records.” “Why not try to hit a player after he passes? When we came to Canada we see different hockey — there are smaller rinks, and lots of contact. When you’re already used to doing it in Russia, the transition to the North American game will be easier.” “I don’t want to be drafted high because I want to be drafted by the Rangers.” “I want to be honest: My dream has always been to play in the NHL.”

Evgeni Kuznetsov Video

Kuznetsov’s first goal in the KHL.

Kuznetsov’s Goal in the World Junior Championships.

Stanislav Galiev

Current Club: Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)

Position: LW

Height /Weight: 188cm (6’2“) / 82kg (180.4 lbs)

Stats: QMJHL: 67 games, 15 goals, 45 assists.

Interesting Facts: Was drafted 1st overall by Sea Dogs in last CHL Euro draft.

Quotes: “I don’t want to come back to Russia, everything suits me in America.” “People here say that North-American hockey is below us. I don’t agree, because we work on tactic, defense and neutral zone positioning… We spend a lot of time on the power play and penalty killing.” “I never wished to eat something from Subway or McDonald’s.” “At the end of season I didn’t have any problems with hockey terms.” “My preferences in the NHL Draft? I don’t know, maybe Washington or Pittsburgh or Detroit. I cheered for the Capitals in my childhood but I didn’t follow the NHL too closely.”

Stanislav Galiev Video:

Galiev while playing for the Saint John Sea Dogs.

Galiev scores a goal against Galifax.

III. Maxim Kitsyn

Maxim Kitsyn

Current Club: Metallurg Novokuznetsk (KHL) / Novokuznetsk Bears (MHL).

Position: LW

Height / Weight: 188cm (6’2″) / 83kg (182lbs)

Stats: KHL: 20 games, 1 goal, 1 assist. MHL: 17 games (6 in playoffs), 10 goals (4 in playoffs), 17 assists (5 in playoffs). WJC: 0 goals, 3 assists.

Interesting Facts: Scored 2 goals in his first KHL game (he was 16 then), the youngest player in Russian hockey history to score 2 in a game. His mother is the PA Announcer at the Novokuznetsk Metallurgs’ Arena. His father played for Metallurg. Red Wings scout came to a KHL game to see him. Press calls him the “Ovechkin of Novokuznetsk.”

Quotes: “Comparing yourself with other players doesn’t cost anything. Ovechkin, is a great player sure, but I’m not Ovechkin, I’m Kitsyn and I don’t want to copy anyone.” “The Locker room of [Russian Junior National] team in Windsor shocked me… Looks like it’s 3 times bigger than Metallurg’s.” “The Treatment of junior hockey in Russia and Canada is very different.”

Maxim Kitsyn Video:

Kitsyn’s only goal in the current KHL season (it comes up at the 1:10 mark).

A Kitsyn goal during the 2008-09 season.

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