From Russia, With Love?

Lowetide
April 19 2012 05:11PM

Anatoli Semenov is one of the few Russians drafted by the Edmonton Oilers who also had an NHL career of note. The Oilers have avoided the Motherland like the Moscow Plague and Riot of 1771. Are they really going to change their ways and grab the Russian Nail?

Since 1979, Edmonton has draft 339 players. Of that group, the following were drafted out of Russia or have direct ties to Russian hockey:

  • L Igor Vyazmikin, 252nd overall in 1987
  • D Vladimir Zubkov, 208nd overall in 1988
  • C Anatoli Semenov, 120th overall in 1989
  • C Sergei Yashin, 141st overall in 1989
  • G Evgeny Belosheiken, 232nd overall in 1991
  • L Alexander Kerch, 60th overall in 1993
  • F Oleg Maltsev, 241st overall in 1993
  • D Ilya Byakin, 267th overall in 1993
  • R Dimitrius Sulba, 162nd in 1994
  • D Sergei Yerkovich, 68th overall in 1997
  • G Alex Fomitchev, 231st overall in 1997
  • L Oleg Smirnov, 144th overall in 1998
  • R Maxim Spiridonov, 241st overall in 1998
  • D Alexei Semenov, 36th overall in 1999
  • L Alexei Mikhnov, 17th overall in 2000
  • D Alexander Ljubimov, 83rd overall in 2000
  • F Evgeny Muratov, 274th overall in 2000
  • D Ivan Koltsov, 106th overall in 2002
  • F Mikhail Youkov, 72nd overall in 2003
  • D Roman Tesliuk, 44th overall in 2004
  • L Slava Trukhno, 120th overall in 2005
  • F Alex Bumagin, 170th overall in 2006

22 Russians (there might be one or two who slipped through the radar because I counted them as Slovak or they are listed as being from Belarus via hockeydb but are in fact Russian). That's about 6.5 per cent, a very low total when we take into account the incredible amount of hockey talent Russia has produced since the 1980's.

Edmonton has for the most part ignored Russia. They were among the first NHL teams to explore Finland and of course Sweden has been a hot spot for a long time, plus the Czech players make appearances often. Russia? Edmonton's relationship with Russian hockey players is just about the opposite of that enjoyed by the Detroit Red Wings.

You'd have a terrible time putting together a starting lineup of Russians from the Edmonton draft list 79-12. I'd suggest the best Russian pick have been Anatoli Semenov, but after that it's a dog's breakfast.

Russia has not blessed the Oilers with talent, and in turn Edmonton has ignored the hell out of it. Which came first? Who cares?

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

There's very little doubt the Edmonton Oilers will select Nail Yakupov first overall. He played in the OHL and has made it clear that his goal is to be an NHL player and he's on record as hoping Edmonton takes him #1 overall.

The Oilers own past will make it will be a rare, rare moment. Perhaps it will be an opportunity to change the past and treat Russian hockey like the enormous opportunity that it clearly is and has been for decades.

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#51 Fresh Mess
April 20 2012, 06:52AM
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Tony Semenov was my fave russian player of all time.

The Oilers should stay away from Nail. His value is high right now. Deal the pick. Trade down. Whatever, just don't draft Yakov Smirnoff.

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#52 RDS
April 20 2012, 08:25AM
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I've been reading alot here about moving players from the wing to centre. That doesn't seem like a very easy thing to do. These guys have spent their life playing wing and have been successful. Seems crazy to try and make them change. Has there been alot of players in the past that have changed from wing to centre. Going from centre to wing would be alot easier. Someone smarter than me please educate me.

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#53 madjam
April 20 2012, 08:40AM
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Yakupov is "in the bag " ! What Oilers do outside that acquisition is intriguing . Might they go for Nash , Iginla or even Thornton to name a few ? Perhaps a young defenceman of note to help the top 4 ? I think the Oiler nation should spend more time making dream deals, etc. knowing Yalupov will be our pick . We have so many outside the top four we could play with including the draft for the next year to acquire some much needed top talent at center and/ or defence . This is not the year to mess with or waste our first pick !

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#54 RexLibris
April 20 2012, 01:28PM
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@Lowetide

Re: Rieder - I have been keeping an eye on him as well and here is what I have noticed. He is roughly the same size and weight as Baertschi, plays the opposite wing, and is on a relatively gifted Kitchener team. As far as I can tell he is playing with the undrafted and undersized (and feisty!) but intriguing Michael Catenacci. His points are almost at a par with Baertschi as well. So, on paper, it appears as though the Oilers have a 4th round surprise pick that is performing as well as the Flames prized 1st round pick and all-but-anointed saviur of the franchise. As Bob Stauffer would say "Hmmm, interesting".

I'm really, really looking forward to seeing this young man in OKC next season.

On another note I had a look at the gamesheet from the Barons win and I noticed Pitlick started the scoring. Seems like a good sign in his development to me.

Oh, and draft Yakupov. We can attract more free agents (read: Justin Schultz) with talent than we can with money. And if eventually the Oilers can't afford him I'd rather trade a 24 year old budding star than an 18 year old prospect.

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#55 Sean
April 20 2012, 06:02PM
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mlcselli wrote:

Lowtide, I hope someone from the Oilers spoke with Nail and his camp. I know the Oilers make decisions that causes lots of their fans to raise their eyebrows, but to completely disregard this young man when given 1st pick doesn't seem to be something the Oilers would do. I was just going by what several of the articles I've been reading suggested. Listening to Lowe and Tambo talking about winning the lottery, and the possibility of having the Yak on the team, my sense was that they were excited about having him with Hall, Eberle and RNH.

I thought I read somewhere that when the oilers were in Detroit Nail visited the teem there, mint have been in one of Terry Jones's articles.

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#56 Sean
April 20 2012, 06:12PM
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Quintana wrote:

Tambi should call Peter Chiarelli and try to get Lucic, D.Hamilton + a pick for the russian.Its what this team needs moving foward.(The pick a 2nd)my two cents!!!

If you were Chiarelli would you really make that trade? Come on he's not stupid and your not playing NHL 2011

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#57 Raine
April 20 2012, 09:24PM
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Lowetide wrote:

I think they'll move Hall to center.

Move Hall to Centre from LW and move Yakupov from RW to LW? Sounds like a messy experiment that I'd rather they stay away from. Erik Cole all over again.

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#58 Dan the Man
April 21 2012, 12:16AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Actually after playing his 60th game n the NHL Omark could not be sent down to OKC without clearing waivers first.

Omark did state that he would prefer to play in the Worlds though.

He got his wish because of yet another screw up by the Oilers front office.

He would have to clear waivers if the Oilers season wasn't over, but when a team's season ends it's players no longer have to clear waivers.

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#59 Spydyr
April 21 2012, 07:53AM
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Dan the Man wrote:

He would have to clear waivers if the Oilers season wasn't over, but when a team's season ends it's players no longer have to clear waivers.

Well if you don't belive me ,perhaps you will believe CBS sports

http://www.cbssports.com/nhl/story/18362669/oilers-will-trust-omark-to-waivers

and the Edmonton Journal

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/life/Oilers+will+shop+Omark+this+summer/6346718/story.html

But I am sure they are both wrong and you are right.

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#60 Dan the Man
April 21 2012, 08:35AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Well if you don't belive me ,perhaps you will believe CBS sports

http://www.cbssports.com/nhl/story/18362669/oilers-will-trust-omark-to-waivers

and the Edmonton Journal

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/life/Oilers+will+shop+Omark+this+summer/6346718/story.html

But I am sure they are both wrong and you are right.

"When is the Waiver period?

Waivers go in to effect 12 days before the start of the regular season. Waivers last until the day after a teams playing season.

Ex: The Philadelphia Flyers are knocked out of the playoffs May 2nd, the waiver period for the Flyers would then end on May 3rd."

http://thehockeywriters.com/nhl-waiver-rules/

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#61 Slats
April 21 2012, 09:46AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

You mean besides at the end of close games when he gets sent out with Richards and Carter to protect the lead right? The Oilers can certainly do without players like that.

Hmmmm Lucic or Penner vs. the Sedins in a 1 goal game. Penner vs any other big forward for that matter on LA like King would have been better. Don't muddy the waters with dumb coaching decisions.

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