Slava Trukhno has not adjusted well to the AHL in his first try, and it looks to me like his minutes (until very recently) have been cut back for some time. Which means it’s very hard to tell just how hard a time the kid is having.
What do we know, then?
He was a quality player as a 17-year old, putting up solid junior numbers in his draft year.
Here, let’s run the kids who have been drafted by Edmonton and were CHL players at 17 and in their draft year:
- Sam Gagner (06-07) 53gp, 35-83-118 2.23ppg
- Ales Hemsky (00-01) 68gp, 36-64-100 1.47ppg
- Rob Schremp (03-04) 63gp, 30-45-75 1.19ppg
- Marc Pouliot (02-03) 65gp, 32-41-73 1.12ppg
- Jarret Stoll (99-00) 71gp, 37-38-75 1.06ppg
- Liam Reddox (03-04) 68gp, 31-33-64 .941ppg
- Slava Trukhno (04-05) 64gp, 25-34-59 .922ppg
- Tyler Spurgeon (03-04) 49gp, 8-16-24 .490ppg
- JF Jacques (02-03) 67gp, 12-21-33 .493ppg
- Zack Stortini (02-03) 62gp, 13-16-29 .468ppg
Now, we’re comparing across junior leagues, different seasons and have no idea about TOI, but it’s an interesting list all the same.
After the draft, Trukhno built on those numbers and put in two quality seasons in the QMJHL. In fact, in his final junior season he was kicking butt until some concussion problems derailed him for a time (and he didn’t get back to previous levels all year).
At this point, Trukhno is well off the points-per-game pace set by the guys of note who played in the AHL at age 20. Here’s a sample, with some other names thrown in:
- Robert Nilsson .966
- Rob Schremp .768
- Jarret Stoll .711
- Marc Pouliot .692
- JF Jacques .677
- Kyle Brodziak .571
- Slava Trukhno .412
- Zach Stortini .156
The closest comp I could find from recent Oilers history is Jason Chimera at 20 (.359) which I think we can agree would be a nice result for Trukhno (pronounced TRUEK-NO) who was taken at almost exactly the same spot in his draft as Chimera was in 1997.
I like Trukhno a lot, even now that he’s hit a wall in his development. You never know if these kids will respond and find a way (like Brodziak did) or they’ll flounder and eventually finish just shy of NHL regular status (Rita would be a good example).
The impressive parts of Trukhno’a resume remain the junior seasons and his draft day scouting report:
- 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.
He had a good game (2 assists) and a bad one (-3 on a line with JFJ and MP) this week. His highlight so far this season was probably training camp and his pro debut in which he scored the game winner for Springfield on October 5.