Boston Bruin Russian Prospects Update

By Bob Willwerth

1-Sergei “Zina” Zinovjev has been an on going concern during the Swedish Games of the Euro Tour . Playing a top line with Toronto prospect Vlad Antipov and New Jersey prospect Alexander Suglobov provided much of the Russian National Team’s offense . Zina’s strong tournament came to a pinnacle with a terrific performance against the Czech Republic . Most of the tournament he was setting up goals but against the Czech Republic he scored 2 goals and assisted on another . His play was characterized by exciting offensive rushes . Zina also plays tough.

Zina is by far the best Bruin Russian prospect . This season Zina is playing for Ak Bars in the Russian Super League , the only Bruin’s prospect playing in the Russian Super League . Zina’s statistics are : GP 37 G 9 A 13 PTS 22 and PIM 40 .

Zina has been an exciting performer in Russia . He would look good in a Bruins jersey . If the Bruins can’t accomplish his signing he could become excellent trade fodder .

2-Vlad Evseev started the 2003 season recovering from another injury this time his back . Last year he had a serious shoulder injury . Is this a trend ? Vlad was prepping in the Russian Upper League with Moscow Dynamo 2 . His statistics are : GP 12 G 6 A 4 PTS 10 . He has excellent skating , stickhandling , and shooting skills . Vlad must prove his health is 100% and move up to the Super League . He has not been able to showcase his talent on the international level at the WJC because of injury . Still a few years away from wearing the Bruins jersey he is fulfilling his military obligation . Recently Vlad was called up to the Super League for Moscow Dynamo and is playing a part time roll on the fourth line . His statistics are : GP 16 G 1 A 1 PTS 2 .

3-Dmitri Utkin the smallish forward started in the the Russian Super League playing for Lokomotive but was send down to Lokomotive 2 of the Upper League where he has spend most of the season . Considered a diamond in the rough prospect Dmitri has not been a standout in the Upper League . Still young Dmitri has time to become a top prospect .

4-Pavel Frolov is playing this season for Elemash Elekrtostal , a late draft pick Pavel was not considered a prospect . The Bruins drafted him on the recommendation of their Russian scout . Pavel has potential if only for his outstanding skating ability . Still a long ways from Bruins training camp Pavel has time to improve the skill side of his game .

The Bruins have not been successful drafting and developing Russian prospects but Zina may change that . It should be remembered Sergei Samsonov was scouted by the Bruins at a tournament in New England . He moved on to play in the IHL . He was a prospect as well known in North America as Joe Thornton . Hopefully , Vlad Evseev and Zina Zinovjev can change the Bruins performance in Russia .