Prospect Report 1/5/12: The Russian Edition
The first prospect report of the New Year and my personal first had me interested in looking into two of Garth Snow’s long shot draft picks; Kirill Petrov and Kirill Kabanov were both prospects with huge talent levels but other issues that had them fall down most team’s draft boards.
Kirill Petrov was drafted 73rd overall in 2008. He was considered to have 1st round talent but fell in the draft due to a contract in the KHL for 3 more years. With this being the final year in the contract, Islanders fans are starting to notice more of what he is doing this season and where he may fit into the Islanders' future. Petrov is currently playing for the Kazan Ak-Bars and is having his best season so far in the KHL from a statistical stand point. In 35 games he has 10 goals and nine assists which doesn’t seem great by many people’s minds but this kid is just 21 years-old and has been playing among men for the past four seasons. He is a big bodied winger (6’3”, 198lbs) that could be a good addition to the line-up once he makes it to the NHL. Said to have a good set of hands on him and an ability to finish, Petrov would be a great player to battle it out in front of the net. All indications at this point are that Petrov should be coming over to the US next season and find himself in the Islanders system. I would expect him to start the season in Bridgeport as he becomes accustomed to the North American game and the Islanders can get a better look at him and decide his future. I am one person that wants to see Petrov meet his potential because a big winger with great hands will be a good addition to any team.
Kirill Kabanov was also drafted late at 63rd overall in the 2010 draft. Kabanov was also considered to have 1st round talent but fell due to stories of him getting kicked off teams and firing agents, allowing him to fall into the Islanders' lap in the 3rd round. Garth took a chance on the young player and so far his attitude has changed dramatically and he could turn into a true steal for the Islanders. He is currently playing in the QWJHL for the Shawinigan Cataractes. Similar to Petrov, Kabanov is having one of his best seasons so far statistically with 27 points in 23 games (13 goals and 14 assists). Kabanov is seen as mix between a sniper and playmaker that is known for flashy moves with the puck. The big negative to Kabanov’s game right now is his size; he needs to add more muscle in order to even stand a chance at the NHL level. The good news is that with a good workout program and some hard work, that can be changed. I could see him actually working well on a line with Petrov if the two develop correctly. A speedy set up man feeding the big man in front of the net could be a good mix. Kabanov should finish off this season in Juniors and the Islanders will evaluate his game and progress this offseason before making a decision about next season. I think that if he continues to mature and spend a lot of time in the weight room this summer he could be seen in a Bridgeport jersey next year.
Finally, I just wanted to touch on the Corey Trivino situation. He is the Islanders' prospect that was playing at Boston University before being kicked off the team recently for off-ice issues. It has been stated that he has had several problems during his time in BU with alcohol. His career there came to an end when he was arrested for possible assault on a female student. Trivino was a high 2nd round draft pick for the Islanders that showed promise, but in my opinion, at this point the Islanders should just let him go. If the young man is having trouble with alcohol while being in school, I feel that with more money at his disposal and more free time at the professional level, his problem could balloon out of control. With the Islanders trying to have a young team, that type of problem could also affect other players around him and even possibly hurt them as well. Some people will complain to offer him a second chance and see if he can clean himself up but what struck me the most about this story is that the Boston University coach stated that he told Trivino several times to get his drinking under control or he would be removed from the team and he didn’t change his ways.
As always, thanks for reading!
Follow me on twitter @JLink12
Follow the rest of The Checking Line Islanders Edition @TCLIsles