Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Senators' prospect rundown

Anyone who hasn't seen the Sens website recently should head over to check out a listing of the Sens' top prospects. It's got the comments of assistant GM Tim Murray on the likes of Ilya Zubov, Jim O'Brien, Alexander Nikulin, Josh Hennessy, Peter Regin, Kaspars Daugavins, Brian Lee, Tomas Kudelka, and Brian Elliott.

Obviously, the story is written on behalf of the Senators so author John McGourty certainly has his rose-coloured glasses on, but it still makes for interesting reading. What interest me most is Nikulin, who, according to the story, is more defensive than I'd given him credit for. He sounds like, if there weren't a log-jam at centre, he could make a solid third-line centreman in the NHL. From the story:
Nikulin was regarded as the fourth-best Russian in his draft year (2004) behind Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin. He is a well-built 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, but is not a physical player. He is, however, an excellent defensive centre with great awareness and top-notch passing skills. He has a great understanding of the game and skates well but needed last season in the AHL.
The other pleasant surprise is about Lee; he looks so young that I had no idea he was 6'2" and 205 pounds. He's almost identical to Wade Redden in that sense, and hopefully he can replicate Redden's early success with the Senators (without tailing off after a dozen or so years in the NHL).

Interesting read for those of us thirsting for Sens action to start up.
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