Cherepanov Stays in Russia

When we last left the Alexei Cherepanov debate, he was to spend one or two seasons in the RSL and then jump to the National Hockey League. It looks like it’ll be two seasons.

In late March came word from his RSL club’s website that “(Cherapanov) has declared that his agent and Russian club have been in negotiations with the New York Rangers regarding his departure to the NHL. According to the interview a compromise was found and he will remain in Russia for another season. The likely driver for him remaining in Russia was the club’s poor performance this year and the pressure to keep the talented forward in the fold.”

Statistically he seems to have run in place this season:

  • 06-07 RSL 45gp, 18-11-29, +15
  • 07-08 RSL 46gp, 15-12-27, +5

Let’s review some of the draft hype about him:

  • 8:41PM EST on draft night. Pierre Maguire: “The fact that Alexei Cherepanov is sliding right now is unconscionable. This is a bizarro move.”
  • After selecting him we find out Rangers GM Glen Sather is said to have attempted two draft-day trades to try to move up and secure Cherepanov, after making four separate trips to Russia to specifically scout him.
  • After the draft, Cherepanov’s Russian agent said he would stay 2 more years, while his North American agent said one more year.

Three players made the NHL straight from the 1st round of the 2007 edition of the Entry Draft:

  • 1st overall: Patrick Kane (82gp, 21-51-72)
  • 6th overall: Sam Gagner (79gp, 13-36-49)
  • 26th overall: David Perron (62gp, 13-14-27)

Cherepanov finished in a tie for 27th in RSL scoring this season, and his size (6-1, 178) would have to be considered the biggest concern in terms of an NHL future. The best words on him remain the ones we heard before he was drafted:

Some scouts look at Cherepanov, a right winger, and see a good skater with a nice goal-scoring touch and the potential to be an impact player in the NHL. Others see an underachiever who is prone to losing his focus, has no interest in playing defense and suffers from something akin to an attitude pointer.

Many gifted young prospects have that kind of “enigma” scouting report attached to them. His scouting report resembles (a little bit) that of another Russian taken in the 1st round by the Rangers, Alexei Kovalev. When Kovalev was 19 (Cherapanov’s age this fall) he was scoring 20 goals as a gifted NHL rookie. The decision to remain in Russia for another season would in some way seem to be recognition that this player is somewhat behind the pace set by Kovalev at the same age, and we should also mention that the lack of an agreement between the RSL and the NHL may be a contributing factor in his staying in Russia for another year.

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7 Responses to "Cherepanov Stays in Russia"

  1. Traktor says:

    Alexander Semin

    RSL as a 20 year old
    50 19 11 30

    RSL as 21 year old
    42 8 11 19

    NHL as a 22 year old
    77 38 35 73

    Cherepanov as 18 year old in RSL
    46 15 13 28

    I think Cherepanov will be an impact player in the NHL when he decides to come over. Maybe Plante will be an impact player in the WHL playing for the hitmen by that time.

  2. DeBakey says:

    Don’t worry
    they made up for passing on Cherepanov by
    snagging Omark [Cogliano without the speed]

    Is Dylan Stanley a good comparable for Omark ?

  3. digger says:

    Pavel Vorobiev as a 20 year old in the RSL:

    44-10-18-28

    The thing with these ‘enigmatic Russians’ is that you never really know how they’ll react to the NHL style of game until they actually deign to come over here.

    He could turn into the next Semin, but he could just as easily become another Chistov too.

    From watching him at the WJHC and that brief snippet of him at the Super Series before he got physicall rubbed out, was of a player that has the potential to be a good, but not great NHLer.

    Of course it’s all projection at this point, but I can’t imagine that Sather will be pleased if his 1st rounder is going to spend a 3rd straight year in Russia.

  4. jon k says:

    Cherepanov… Bure without the speed? Seriously though, how much is a player like that going to help a team win games? Aside from probably having a large cap hit earned by putting up flashy scoring numbers?

  5. therealdeal says:

    I can’t help but think of the first chapter in Gare’s book when Columbus is trying to convince that Russian player to come play in NA because they considered him playing in the RSL as losing out on a valuable development year.

  6. doritogrande says:

    Shame that Carolina and the NYR aren’t in the same conference. I’d love to see 8 games a year of Sutter wall-papering Cherepanov.

    I don’t think he’ll be a dynamic player in the NHL because he shies away from contact. Kind of like a Russian “hockey jesus”. Anyone know the translation?

  7. Jonathan says:

    He could turn into the next Semin, but he could just as easily become another Chistov too.

    I did a post on Chistov awhile back: http://coppernblue.blogspot.com/2008/04/caveat.html

    It’s good to remember how limited our perspective as fans is.

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