This is a photo from January 5th, 2007 in Leksand, Sweden. Outside the frame (and seconds earlier) Andrew Cogliano scored against the Russians.
Looking on is Ryan O’Marra (#23) playing for Canada and Alexander Bumagin (#29) playing for the USSR.
Alexander Bumagin is having a nice career in the RSL, which Gabriel Desjardins grades out as the best league not named the NHL (91% at last count).
Bumagin went 31gp, 8-7-15 for Mytishi Khimik in his 20 year old season, ranking 12th on his team in scoring. Among his teammates were former NHLers Jan Bulis and Nils Ekman. The Khimik team was among the best in the Russian League this season, but Bumagin’s progress doesn’t appear to be on an NHL track.
A lot of noise was made about Bumagin in 2005-06 as he had a nice (and still his best) RSL season with Lada (40gp, 9-12-21, -1). Although eligible for the 2005 draft he passed through untouched and the Oilers spent a late pick (170th overall) on him in 2006. 06-07 was a real struggle for him (40gp, 2-3-5, -3) although he had a nice World Junior Championships (6gp, 2-6-8).
Russian prospects summed up Bumagin: The young forward is a solid package of offensive skills, who stands out with his skating. He has also made strides to improve his defensive play. He did struggle during the 2006-07 season during his sophmore Super League campaign, but a lot of the struggles appeared to have been mental, as his overall game declined, and not in any particular area, since he struggled to adjust to the new system and the new order within HC Lada. In our opinion he remains a promising NHL prospect with an upside of a second line scoring winger.
This year was up and down for him with injuries being the low point and a late season hat-trick being the high point. The Oilers are the suck when it comes to prospects in Europe and Bumagin isn’t looking like an obvious choice to break the streak. He’s 6-0 and 172 pounds, and I believe the Oilers have to make a decision on him this summer in terms of signing him to a contract.