Predators acquire Riazantsev and sign Platonov

By Brian Roe

Alexander Riazantsev shipped to Washington
for Mike Farrell; Denis Platonov signs

Defenseman Alexander Riazantsev has been traded to the Washington Capitals for forward Mike Farrell as Nashville continues to shake up its roster.

Riazantsev, 23, was originally acquired from the Colorado Avalanche at the trade deadline in March for a seventh round choice in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft (Nashville selected goaltender Miroslav Hanvljak with that pick).

Farrell, 24, played 68 games with Portland of the AHL last season. He scored 12 goals and 12 assists and was charged with 107 penalty minutes. He also skated in four games with the Washington Capitals last season without registering a point. Farrell was a seventh round draft pick of the Washington Capitals in 1998.

The 6’0″ forward was originally drafted as a defenseman but has recently made the transition to right wing. Farrell’s upside is that he is a versatile player, a solid skater, has good hockey sense and can play multiple positions. His down side is that he is not highly talented on the offensive end has not attained the art of the forecheck.

Farrell should begin the season with Milwaukee of the AHL and at best is a fourth line forward with some penalty-killing ability.

Also, the Predators have signed Russian prospect Denis Platonov to a three year contract. Platonov, 21, scored 12 points in 44 games in the Russian elite league last season. The 6’3″ 202 pound winger was a third round choice in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.

Platonov is probably one of the more underrated prospects in the Nashville organization. He doesn’t put up big offensive numbers, but he is a solid player with intriguing size and skills. Platonov joins Timoeif Shishkanov, Scottie Upshall, Jordin Tootoo and Libor Pivko on the list of Predator prospects who have signed contracts with Nashville this offseason.

Platonov will likely start the season with the Milwaukee Admirals.

Other News and Notes

Defenseman Ryan Suter, the first round, seventh overall pick for the Nashville Predators in this year’s draft, will not be playing with the Predators next season. The 18-year-old considered attempting to make the jump to the NHL, but has decided to play hockey at the University of Wisconsin in 2003-04.

What about Jan Lasak? The Predators have come to terms with veteran goalie Wade Flaherty, who suited up for Nashville in 13 games, making one appearance. Flaherty is expected to back up starting goalie Tomas Vokoun. This move could be a signal that they want Lasak to have some competition for the no. 2 job going into camp, or they may think that Vokoun needs a more experienced back-up.