Dmitri Pestunov started his career in Ust Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan. He spent the 1999-00 season with Gazovik Tyumen and then moved on to join Metallurg Magnitagorsk’s farm system. In 2002-03 season, he managed to crack Metallurg’s roster and has been contributing on the team’s fourth line. After all the drastic changes in Metallurg, he responsibilities grew and his fourth line has been a regular contributor on the board. Last he made his debut on Russia’s ’85 National Team. This year Pestunov built on his strong performance with Metallurg by earning a roster spot on Russia’s U20 National team at the WJC.
2004-05: Started the season with Metallurg. Almost two-thirds through the regular season, he was traded to Moscow Spartak to make room for newly acquired Fedor Federov (VAN). Last season, he was also selected to Russia’s U20 team for the 2005 WJC. He anchored the top line with fellow prospects Enver Lisin and Alexander Ovechkin.
2005-06: After being loaned to Spartak last season, Dmitri Pestunov rejoined Magnitogorsk this year. He spent the majority of the season anchoring a line with Ed Kudermetov and Ravil Gusmanov. He put up a respective 21 points (6 goals, 15 assists) in 48 games played and was a career-high +18. A large part of his success was due to the fact Magnitogorsk was extremely deep this year. They had the likes of young stars Evgeni Malkin, Stanislav Chistov , and a steady veteran in Dmitri Yushkevich. Played for Team Russia at the WJC.
2006-07: He turned in another productive year. For the second straight season, played the majority of the season with well-established wingers in Ed Kudermetov and Ravil Gusmanov. Was the team’s fifth leading scorer in 53 regular season games. He has also seen action in three of Metallurg’s five playoff games. He has been held scoreless.
2007-08: Skated for Spartak Moscow this season. Turned in career highs in goals (8) and points (25). Finished tied for third in team scoring. Was held scoreless in five playoff games.
2008-09: Pestunov had his best offensive season to date after moving to Avangard Omsk . Playing alongside former NHLer Jaromir Jagr he scored 7 goals with 34 assists and had 58 PMs in 56 regular season games. In nine playoff games he had 3 assists with 16 PMs.
2009-10: Pestunov skated in 48 of 56 and had a reduced role in his second season with Avangard Omsk as the club added NHL veteran Eric Perrin. Pestunov scored 5 goals with 8 assists and 30 PMs. Avangard finished second in the Chernyshev Division. Pestunov was scoreless in two playoff games.
2010-11: Pestunov began the season with Traktor Chelyabinsk, appearing in 43 games, and was with OHK Dynamo Moscow for their last ten games and the playoffs. He scored 6 goals with 11 assists and was -3 for Traktor, which finished under .500. Pestunov scored 3 goals with 2 assists and was +2 with 4 PMs during the regular season for Dynamo and in six playoff games was +2 with 1 goal and 1 assist.
Talent AnalysisAt 5’9 and 194 pounds, Pestunov is a stocky guy with a strong frame. His height does cause some concern – since it sets a sort of a ceiling to his power game, however his low center of gravity can make him a deliverer of some vicious hits. Pestunov doesn’t usually play physical hockey and as a center he is hardly ever seen next to the boards. If he is motivated, he has been known on occasion to lay down some good hits in the open ice.
Pestunov is very maneuverable and has an above average speed on his skates. He is capable of burst acceleration, and has a good top speed. His shot is slightly above average. It is fairly strong, but he needs to work on precision and the release. He is a good puck handler. Combined with his solid lateral movement and burst of acceleration, his puckhandling makes him a very dangerous guy in the neutral zone. Pestunov’s height does cause him some trouble, since due to his relatively small reach, he is prone to being forced off the puck on occasion.
Pestunov sees the ice very well. He has a very good hockey sense, able to read the plays and make excellent tape to tape passes. He has stood up to the wear of the Super League at just the age of 17 and has shown his ability to compete and read hockey at a very high level.
Pestunov is a speedy center with good strength, solid hockey sense and a dangerous passes. His main downside can not be helped – as he will not likely grow taller then 5’10. He is a mature player, able to compete at a very high level. He does need to improve his shot and work on becoming a more stable puck carrier in traffic.