Russians Worth the Risk?: NHL Draft Time Could Prove Answer

November 18th, 2009 by Ken Armer Leave a reply »
With Blue Jackets prospect Nikita Filatov skipping the country to return to native Russia to play in the KHL, does it serve as an example of a growing problem in the NHL?

It could be that Filatov is an isolated incident, and merely a player incapable of understanding he needs further development and growth to compete at the NHL level, but with draft rankings already coming out for the summer will it hurt Russian prospects? Most likely.

American and Canadian players have no back up option really, I suppose they too could skip off to the failing KHL but there seems to be a difference in the image of hockey between North America and Russia.

I learned of all this thanks to the ever genius Ken Campbell of The Hockey News , but there were some things he skipped over that I feel are important. Campbell made the point Filatov will play in the KHL for $800,000 (his NHL salary) when had he chosen to play in the AHL it would have been $65,000. To quote Campbell "Hard to argue with that kind of logic."

Truthful, but Campbell almost seems to pat the ever child-like Filatov on the butt. We're talking about a kid, regardless of his nation of origin ...

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