2014 NHL Draft Preview: Uncertainty the word for Russia’s latest draft class

by Alessandro Seren Rosso
on

Igor Shestyorkin - Team Russia

Photo: SKA St. Petersburg goaltender and 2014 prospect Igor Sheshtyorkin competed for Team Russia at the 2013 Subway Super Series (courtesy of Derek Leung/Getty Images)

With the 2013-14 season now completed, and as the 2014 NHL Draft draws closer, the list of Russian prospects who are on the radar of the NHL scouting staffs gets thinner. The list of potential draftees playing in Russia is always somewhat difficult to gauge due to the infamous “Russian Factor” hanging over the heads of any player that chooses to stay in Russia to continue their development.

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Gavrikov keen on crossing the ocean as a fully developed player

by Alessandro Seren Rosso
on

Vladislav Gavrikov - Team Russia

Photo: Yaroslavl Lokomotiv defenseman and 2014 prospect Vladislav Gavrikov is ranked 17th among European skaters for the 2014 NHL Draft by Central Scouting (courtesy of Derek Leung/Getty Images)

One of the top-ranked Russian defensemen for the 2014 NHL Draft, Vladislav Gavrikov, had an eventful season, culminating with his inclusion in NHL Central Scouting's draft rankings.

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ISS Draft Rankings: Reinhart, Ekblad tighten hold on top slots

by ISS
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Sam Reinhart - Kootenay Ice

Photo: Kootenay Ice captain and 2014 prospect Sam Reinhart will likely enter the 2014 NHL Draft as the top-ranked prospect according to ISS Hockey (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

The calendar has flipped over to May, but the top 10 in the ISS Hockey ranking of the 2014 NHL Draft prospects looks an awful lot like the top of the order in April's rankings.

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Stars’ Nichushkin just scratching the surface of his talent

by Andrew Knoll
on

Valeri Nichushkin - Dallas Stars

Photo: Dallas Stars forward Valeri Nichushkin’s 34 points placed him ninth among rookies that competed during the 2013-14 season (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)

Although the Stars’ postseason ended in a mere six games, Dallas has years of excellence to look forward to from their dynamic winger, Valeri Nichushkin.

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Prokhorkin the best of a thin crop of center prospects playing in the KHL

by Alessandro Seren Rosso
on

Patrick Bjorkstrand - Team Denmark

Photo: Medvescak Zagreb forward Patrick Bjorkstrand, shown here competing for Denmark at the 2013 World Championship, could be looking to follow his brother Oliver to North America after a solid 2013-14 season in the KHL (courtesy of JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

The infamous "Russian Factor" is taking its toll on the sheer number of drafted prospects playing in Russia as nowadays, the NHL franchises are scared to draft directly from Russia, causing many top prospects to decide to cross the pond earlier and play some seasons in the Canadian major junior system in order to improve their chances of being chosen at the NHL Draft.

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