Made his North American debut in the World Junior A Challenge. Surprised with his balance, footwork, lateral agility, strong pivots, lightning release and heavy shot. Uses his body in all three zones and will step into the opposition. Leans to hold off fore-checkers while he is moving on the attack. Creative carrier and passer who anticipates offensive flow. Supports the attack in his five man unit that expects him to get low if the opportunity opens. Did I mention his fancy foot work and ability to change directions? He stops and starts and almost always make crisp outlet passes from his end.
The question is luring him across the pond now, while he is a Cap relief under the current rookie salary system. I already said this but it is worth repeating: the real key when selecting Russians who aren't already over in North America is they may not want to make the jump while still under the rookie salary cap constraints. They can make plenty of money while staying at home and waiting until the teams that draft them are no longer subject to the entry-level contract rules. Sometimes these Russian players slip into the later parts of the selection process. No guarantee their name is called unless they plan to come now and stay - no matter if the make the parent clubs right away.