Blues European prospects update

By Sydney Hunte





New Page 1

While
North American-born players such as Pierre Turgeon, Doug Weight, and Keith
Tkachuk have lent a hand in the Blues’ success, the team has certainly moved
toward drafting more European-born players in recent year.
Many of these players have remained in Europe in order to sharpen their
skill further, in hopes of getting the call to the NHL.
Eight Blues prospects are currently playing in leagues in Russia, Sweden,
and Slovakia.



Carl
Soderberg,
C
– Malmo IF, SEL
Height – 6’3, Weight – 198 lbs.; D.O.B. 1985-10-12



St.
Louis selected the 19-year-old Soderberg in the second round (49th
overall) in 2004. Malmo IF had
their eyes on Soderberg since he was 14. After seeing his dominant play in the
junior leagues (scoring at a two points-per-game clip), the Redhawks wasted
little time in picking him up for the 2003-04 season. Notching only a goal and
an assist in 24 games in 2003-04, Soderberg will certainly look to improve his
game in the 2004-05 season as he enters his second year with his hometown team.
Soderberg’s great play at the junior level may have sealed his place on
the roster of Sweden’s team for the 2005 World Junior Championships, beginning
on Christmas Day in Grand Forks, ND.



2004-05
Stats

Team

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

+/-

Malmo
IF

13

0

3

3

4





Viktor
Alexandrov
,
RW – Novokuznetsk Mettalurg, Russia

Height
– 5’11; Weight – 165 lbs.; D.O.B. 1985-12-28



Alexandrov,
a third-round draft pick for St. Louis in 2004, was 15 when he started playing
in the Russian First league in 2000, and moved up to the Superleague two years
later. He also played six games for
Kazakhstan
in the
World Junior Hockey Championship in 2000, notching three points. Small but
skilled, the 2004-05 season is Alexandrov’s third with Novokuznetsk, as he
comes off a season that saw him score five goals and two assists in 56 regular
season games.



2004-05
Stats

Team

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

+/-

Novokuznetsk

11

2

1

3

4





Robin
Jonsson
,
D – Farjestad BK Karlstad, SEL

Height
– 6’1; Weight – 180 lbs.; D.O.B. 1983-12-10



Jonsson
is a very talented defensive-minded defenseman who plays with
determination. The Blues’
fourth-round draft pick in 2002 will sharpen his skills in his fourth season
with Farjestad BK Karlstad in 2004-05, and prepare himself to possibly enter the
NHL in the near future.



2004-05
Stats

Team

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

+/-

Farjestad

14

0

1

1

4







David
Fredriksson
,
LW – HV71

Height
– 6’2; Weight – 214 lbs. D.O.B. 1985-10-04



The
2004-05 season marks Fredriksson’s third with his hometown team, HV71.
The seventh round draft pick has yet to score in the SEL, but he put up
solid numbers with HV71’s under-20 team, scoring nine goals and three assists
in 18 games. While he has not yet developed as a pure scoring threat,
Fredriksson will look to turn up his game as he enters the 2004-05 season, and
will certainly add depth to St. Louis’ roster if he is able to make the step
up to the NHL.



2004-05
Stats

Team

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

+/-

HV71

9

0

0

0

0







Nikita
Nikitin
,
D – Omsk Avangard, Russia

Height
– 6’3; Weight – 172 lbs.; D.O.B. 1986-06-16



The
fifth-round pick will look to log more minutes with Avangard as the 2004-05
season progresses. In 58 games with
Omsk 2 in the RPL in 2003-04, Nikitin established himself as a tough defender,
tallying 48 penalty minutes. At
6’3 and 172 pounds, the fifth-round draft pick is by no means big, but he has
been noted for his speed on the ice. He
goes into 2004-05 with a chance to improve on some aspects of his game.



2004-05
Stats

Team

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

+/-

Omsk
Avangard

1

0

0

0

0





Dmitri
Semin
,
C – Moscow Spartak, Russia

Height
– 5’10; Weight – 165 lbs.; D.O.B. 1983-08-14



Semin,
a fifth-round pick in 2001, had a strong showing in the 2001 World Junior
Championships, with five points in six games played. In 2002-03, he totaled nine goals and 13 assists in 51 games
with Spartak’s Superleague team, and spent the 2003-04 season with the Spartak
Upperleague team, scoring 15 goals in 24 points in 63 games.
In 2004-05, Semin returns to the Superleague to continue to develop.



2004-05
Stats

Team

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

+/-

Moscow
Spartak

14

3

3

6

10





Simon
Skoog
,
D – HV71

Height
– 6’2; Weight – 218 lbs.; D.O.B. 1983-02-17



Noted
for his hard shot, Skoog, a ninth round draft pick in 2001, has some scoring
capability, tallying six goals and two assists in 49 games with HV71 in 2003-04.
In 2004-05, he has split time with HV71 in SEL and Morrum in the Swedish
second-tier league. If he puts up
good numbers, he will be back with HV71 by the time the season is over.



2004-05
Stats

Team

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

+/-

HV71

7

0

0

0

2



Morrum

3

0

1

1

4





Tomas
Troliga
,
C – Zilina HK-SKP

Height
– 6’4; Weight – 220 lbs.; D.O.B. 1983-04-24



Troliga
was selected in the third round in the 2002 NHL Draft.
After spending the 2003-04 season with the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL,
where he scored 11 goals and 23 assists in 59 games, Troliga has returned to
Slovakia to play with Zilina HK. He
is a very tough player, with 103 penalty minutes accumulated while with the
Hitmen. He will look to carry on
that toughness as he spends time with Zilina in the 2004-05 season.



2004-05
Stats

Team

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

+/-

Zilina
HK

9

0

0

0

6



Andrei
Pervyshin
,
D—Kazan Ak-Bars, Russia

Height
– 5’9, Weight – 163 lbs., DOB – 1985-02-02



Pervyshin,
an eighth-round pick in 2003, came off of a 2003-04 season with Spartak Moscow
that saw him score three goals and six assists in 59 games. 
In 2004-05, Pervyshin returns to Superleague play as he joins Kazan Ak-Bars,
a team headlined by NHL standouts Alexei Morozov, Denis Archipov, Fred
Brathwaite, and Ilya Kovalchuk.



2004-05
Stats

Team

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

+/-

Kazan
Ak-Bars

22

0

1

1

4





Yevgeny
Skachkov
,
LW—CSKA Moscow, Russia

Height
– 6’0, Weight – 194 lbs., DOB – 1984-07-14



In
2003-04, Skachkov spent most of his time with CSKA Moscow’s junior hockey
club, but got his big break when he was finally able to play a game with the
parent organization.  While
registering only two penalty minutes in that game, it is certainly not the last
action Skachkov will see in the Superleague.

Affiliates
Eliteprospects.com and Russianprospects.com contributed to this article.
Copyright 2004 Hockey’s Future.