LT I still can’t for the life of me figure out why you are so high on Trukhno. Has he ever ever shown anything outside of a CHL environment? Not that I’ve seen.


In the Riesen to Believe (2) post below Asia wrote the quote above, and it’s an interesting item for me to ponder.

Why DO I like Slava Trukhno? I’ve never actually seen him play an entire game, CHL or otherwise. WHY then do I believe he’s going to be a player? What possible justification can there be?

Well, first of all I’m not a scout. I’m a fan. If you’re going to buy anything I say then there has to be (at some level) a belief that statistics are somewhat reliable as indicators (when considered properly and in context). If you are a fan of “saw him good” then we don’t really have much to talk about, as we are not likely to agree. One of us is Earl Weaver, the other Gene Mauch.

Slava Trukhno was not a high draft pick. He does not have draft pedigree. ISS had him #89 in the 2005 draft and he lasted even longer than that (#120 to Edmonton in 2005).

ISS made some nice points:

  • Team leader, plays with an edge.
  • Competes both ways.
  • Dangerous off the rush, loves to cut to the middle.
  • Can pass and shoot on the fly.
  • Adjusted extremely well to North American game.
  • One of the Rockets best players.
  • Slightly deficient skater, bit of a wide tracker.
  • Makes up for it with strength, hockey sense, puck control.
  • He was 6-1, 195 and 18 years and 4 months on draft day.
  • His stats were 64gp, 25-34-59, 57pims his draft year in the QMJHL.

The year after his draft was the interesting season. Trukhno emerged as the best player on his team, played with that grit mentioned above and his plus minus number was impressive when placed against the rest of the team. We don’t own the ATOI numbers but based on the numbers available, Trukhno’s 18 year old Q season was a fine one. Jeff Ward liked him a ton, raved about him in fact. His season at 18 went like this: 60gp, 28-68-96, 81pims.

Trukhno had some concussion problems this past season and did not have the year hoped for, although (60gp, 25-77-102) he did improve in a small way over the previous season.

I like players with a wide range of skills. Trukhno has a few things that make him useful. He is skilled with the puck, big and strong enough to hold off opposition and have success in tight spaces. He isn’t a speedster, but apart from that he can do several things that help teams win.

That is why I think he’s a good bet.

He’s probably been a little lucky in his development because he had to play under a little bit of a disciplined coach early in his NA career. His first Q season saw him fall under the wing of Alain Vigneault, who graduated from the button-down school of coaching. He then spent two seasons developing his skills with a coach who prefered the throttle a little more wide open, and now graduates to pro hockey where he’s probably going to spend a season in the AHL.

I have him #2 on my list of Oilers prospects. Guy had him #19 in July of 2005, #9 the following spring and he sits #8 now. Ahead of him on Guys’ list are Jeff Petry, Marc Pouliot, Rob Schremp, Taylor Chorney, Robert Nilsson, Andrew Cogliano and Sam Gagner. I have Gagner at #1 as well, and placed Cogliano behind Trukhno because Trukhno is bigger with more grit and (based on what we know) about the same offense.

Asia asked in the quote if Trukhno had ever shown anything outside the CHL? The answer will come from Trukhno.

Starting now.

If I’m a betting man, my money is on “yes”.

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17 Responses to "Trukhno"

  1. Black Dog says:

    Hmm, interesting – I know Asia will read this and let me preface this by saying that as a general rule I think his comments are always well thought out and that in many cases I have agreed with him where many have not. I know he has had a rough ride in spots lately and just don’t want to give the impression that I am piling on.

    I have never seen Truhkno play either but aside from WJC and training camps as an 18 and 19yr old, plus one game this year so far, what else can we base our projections on but that? For most kids CHL is all we have to go on – only a handful play WJC every year and how an 18 year old, or for that matter, any kid does in his first pro TCs doesn’t give us much.

    Its not that simple – and for every kid who stars at the WJC and makes it I would bet there are three who do not.

  2. Lowetide says:

    BDHS: I am not familiar with Asia’s posting situation of late, but always enjoy his insight here and other spots along the blogosphere.

  3. Vic Ferrari says:

    How important are international tournaments? That’s the question I think.

    I mean obviously it’s just a few games, and a guy could be injured or influenced a lot by linemates and coaching decisions.

    The counter to that; this is the level playing field that let’s us compare prospects fairly, and the higher level of competition can expose cracks in a player’s game.

    I don’t know, and I have never seen an article that offers any real evidence either way.

  4. Black Dog says:

    Agreed LT on his contributions.

    Vic – good point and there is no real answer – based on ’72 Paul Henderson must have scored 500 career goals. Then there are Jimmy Waite, John Slaney, etc etc. the list of guys who did big things at WJC and then also at the pro level – Iginla for example – would certainly be shorter then the guys who had great WJC and then busted.

    And thats OK – just such a small snapsnot of what a guy can do. Sometimes its accurate, sometimes not.

    The Joyce book about Piestany (sp.?) offers a great look at two very famous teams and there too there are many stars who do nothing as pros (Sanipass was one) while others like Fleury did quite well.

  5. Lowetide says:

    Vic: Part of the article (and this would specifically impact Iron Curtain countries) would have to discuss quality players being passed over because they had come over to North America to play junior hockey.

    I believe Ales Hemsky played in one WJ’s. Quoting an article from HF (Robert Neuhauser, May 11, 2001):

    Even after a first round playoff exit of the Olympiques, who were defeated by the Rouyn Noranda Huskies, Ales wasn’t permitted to play for the Czech Under-18 team at the WJC because of not signing a contract which would allow him to play for the Czech Republic junior national team.

    The same auther in December 2001 about the Czech WJC team and possible players:

    Ales Hemsky – if it wasn’t for his attitude, Ales Hemsky would be a total lock of making the team. According to what is being said Hemsky didn’t show much willingness to play for his native country at the Under-18 WJC this April but hope this changed with the new season. The ultimate offensive weapon, Hemsky, a right-shooting right wing is a flashy forward with a knack for scoring goals and making smart passes. He has to be more patriotic but most likely this won’t prevent him from making the trip home.

    I believe Hemsky played in 1 World Junior, although he was clearly good enough for more than that based on ability. I think politics plays a part in the makeup of any of these teams, but there appears to be a wealth of evidence supporting the idea that some players are punished for not staying in their home countries to play their junior level hockey.

  6. Asiaoil says:

    Trukhno has simply never been very noticeable against older competition and that’s largely what dropped him in the draft IIRC. Nothing much has changed since then – good against kids in the CHL – but pretty much invisible in WJC or TC. Not much speed either which doesn’t help.

    Look I think he’s a great pick in the 4th round or whatever we got him at – but having him in our top tier of prospects is silly. But then again HF had JDD as our #1 prospect for a substantial amount of time so performance doesn’t seem to mean much for that title. Scoring points in the Q – big deal – so did Goulet and a hundred other guys who went nowhere.

    Soon or later you have to do something against somebody better than 16 year old kids. We’ll see if Trukhno can manage it. Not saying he can’t – but to this point there simply isnt much evidence of it.

  7. digger says:

    In the past, I’ve been rather lukewarm on the notion of Trukhno as a top level prospect, mainly due to his 19 yr old junior season where he basically treaded water combined with 3 straight Golden Bears games where he was by no means bad, but every time he left me wondering what the fuss is about.

    Looking at it again with some fresh coffee in me, I think in all honesty I’m looking forward to what he does at his 3rd training camp, and eventually what he does in Springfield this year.

    Here’s hoping that he finally decides to assert himself and not be content with just being at an NHL camp. I’ll be interested in seeing how many preseason games he earns.

  8. Josh says:

    One reason I’d look more closely at this TC for Trukno compared to others is that he is a pro now. Before there was always the notion of going back to Junior. He probably realized he wasn’t making the team, and though it shouldn’t, it could have affected his determination.

    Theres no going back to Junior this year. Its now time to just focus on making it as a pro. This TC should be a much better indicator of where he sits against men.

  9. Stuart van says:

    Statistically, Trukno’s 19 year old stats compare favorably with 3 other Edmonton Oilers. Trukno had the 2nd best 19 year old stats after Hemsky, and better than Pouliot and Thoresen. If he can equal Pouliot’s season as a 21 year old (.7 PPG in the AHL), I think that would be considered a success. I don’t think anyone is expecting him to come in and steal a roster spot on the Oilers this year. I’d say Schremp, Cogliano, and even Gagner are more likely candidates.

    Hemsky (Aug. 13, 1983):
    – 18: 2000-01 Hull Olympiques QMJHL 68 36 64 100 (rookie)PPG: 1.47
    – 19: 2001-02 Hull Olympiques QMJHL 53 27 70 97 PPG: 1.83
    – 20: 2002-03 Edmonton Oilers NHL 59 6 24 30

    Patrick Thoresen (Nov. 7, 1983):
    – 19: 2001-02 Moncton 60 30 43 73 (rookie) (draft year)PPG: 1.22
    – 20: 2005-06 Baie-Comeau QMJHL 71 33 75 108 PPG: 1.52

    Pouliot (Mar. 22, 1985):
    – 18: 2002-03 Rimouski Oceanic QMJHL 65 32 41 73 PPG: 1.12
    – 19: 2003-04 Rimouski Oceanic QMJHL 42 25 33 58 PPG: 1.38
    – 20: 2004-05 Rimouski Oceanic QMJHL 70 45 69 114 PPG: 1.63

    Slava Trukno (Feb. 22, 1987):
    – 18: 2004-05 Prince Edward Island Rocket QMJHL 64 25 34 59 (rookie)PPG: .92
    – 19: 2005-06 Prince Edward Island Rocket QMJHL 60 28 68 96 PPG: 1.6
    – 20: 2006-07 Gatineau Olympiques QMJHL 60 25 77 102 PPG: 1.7

  10. jon says:

    If I were a betting man, the answer is “no.”

    From the times I’ve seen him he appears slow, offensively not dynamic, somewhat stocky but not “big,” and really just not a noticeable player.

    Combined with the seemingly consistent reports that he seems to do the bare minimum to pass in camps and on his teams (noting after he left Kelowna especially), I can’t see him making it in the show.

  11. rickibear says:

    Stuart Van: Whenever LT talks about prospects. I generate the same kind of list that you provided (career stats from HockeyDb or I then use Behind the Nets “junior hockey pojection” PPG Projection By Age graph. To See there statistical mean Max. value. achieved usually at age 22.
    Then determine if they maintain there progression.
    Trukhnos numbers are:
    (2005-2006) when he was 18YR old.
    1.6PPG X .5 = (.8PPG X 82G) = 67PTS

    Pouliot: (2003-04) 19YR
    1.38 X .5 = (.69 x 82) = 57Pts

    Hemsky: (2000-01) 17yr
    1.47 x .75 = (1.1 X 82) = 90Pts.

    Sam Gagner: (2006-07) 17yr
    2.22 x .75 = (1.665 X 82) = 136Pts

    Shrempf: (2004-05) 18 Yr
    1.45 X .5 = (.725 x 82) = 60 Pts

    Based on this Trukhnos potential exceeds Pouliot and Schremps.

    I also look at any video I can find on the net. You get alot of see him good videos.

    You hope at age 20 when they go to the Ahl they develop there skills and show in all areas in the oiler team playing structure. Thank heavens we have our own AHL team.

    I trust the graph.When you place this standard against current and historical players it shows well.

    LT: When you state the desjardins numbers are you using this graph or are you using the “translating performance to the NHL values”.

  12. Lowetide says:

    rickibear: My Desjardins is usually from 2004 (which is .28 for Q and .3 for WHL and OHL).

  13. speeds says:

    I don’t know if I’d agree that he was invisible at TC last year, AO? I didn’t see any pre-seasaon games last year, but from what I read it sounded like his first game wasn’t very noticeable, but his second game (I remember this as a game played in Winnipeg, not sure if that’s accurate) sounded as though he played much better.

    To me he looked better at last year’s Oil Rookie game than this year’s game, but it’s also only 2 games. At the game last year, he was quiet but doing everything right. Not cheating for offense, sticks in the opposition’s passing lanes, good positioning, some nice vision and passing.

    His skating didn’t look great last year, and doesn’t appear to have improved at all since. To me that’s the main concern with Trukhno’s game, he’ll have some trouble moving up in the pros if he can’t improve his skating, but from watching him again it does look like he thinks the game well. When he was playing the point on the PP, with the puck, he was able to create space for the guy he was about to pass the puck to, and generally move the puck to a more favorable position than when it was given to him.

  14. Asiaoil says:

    Trukhno is a great pick where we got him – but we got him there for a reason. Hope the kid pans out but the odds of him becoming an impact player are pretty long IMHO. We’ll see soon enough though – speculation season is officially over.

  15. Vic Ferrari says:

    I think rickibear is bang on. To my mind, that’s the sensible way to use the data that Desjardins has compiled.

    Hopefully Desjardins publishes something more user friendly than that graph though. If he doesn’t, eventually I’ll put something up on the IOF sidebar. Though if I wait long enough, some other blog person will hopefully beat me to it.

    And damn rickibear, you really do that? That’s some heavy lifting on the prospect front from a guy who consciously projected himself as a semiliterate good ol’ boy just a couple of months ago. Good on ya.

  16. rickibear says:

    Vic: I dated a girl who studied Speech Pathology @ Minot State. I would drive down From The U of Sask. (Organic Chem)On thursday nights. They needed bodies to let thier students practice testing. I voluntered to help.

    Two weeks later a person was reading back my results to me in an office. I tested out at a doctorate level in math and science. I had a grade three writing and reading level.

    It took two years to train to read and functionally write. Reading books beacame a passion. Even went to the national book fair in Toronto. (Sat with Jane Arqhuart and John Raulston Saul)Authors would sit at a table during lunch readings.

    Semiliterate I was.

    Good old boy I am not.

    My parents took us to every province and territory in this country. Lived in 5 provinces and 1 territory. Played sports in Scotland, Wales, England, France, Australia, New Zealand.

    Love the country I live in.

    Love sports, Especially hockey.

    Enjoy reading the oiler blogosphere during lunch and coffee and at home at night. The best part is it provides a break from project as-building.

    Can count on being made to think. When I read the comments someone has usually articulated my thoughts and someone pesents a counter arguement to it.

    I go to blogs in this order:

    Covered in oil
    Five Hole
    and then I veture from their.

    I now am looking forward to the training camp reports.

    Ps: I miss cheap beer nights at the Rebar and the Roost.

  17. Ribs says:

    I’m really rooting for this guy again this year and I’m certain Lowetide is the only reason that compels me to do this.

    He was one of the players I was keeping a keen eye on at last years camp and he sadly dissapointed almost every shift.
    He looked completely lost every time he was on the ice.

    I’m giving him some credit as he could have just been put into a state of shock when players with NHL calibre speed were wizzing by him.

    Hopefully he is better prepared to play at a higher level at this years camp.

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