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