#13 Winter Prospect: Slava Trukhno

Current Rank: #13
Summer Rank: #8

Slava Trukhno takes one of the bigger dives down the prospect rankings this winter and it all boils down to one reason: he needs to be delivering more.

Trukhno looked good in TC and many of us felt he would have an impact in the AHL this year. In the reasonable expecations posts I wrote “more of a powerplay specialist than we thought he was based on scouting reports, Trukhno seemed to find his way as he moved up the depth chart. This will be a huge season for him as he was average or below in all categories. Reasonable Expectations: He should be able to establish himself on the top 2lines and as a viable option on the 1st powerplay.”

Last season in the AHL Trukhno went 64gp, 14-21-35 .547. Here are his numbers broken down by category:

  • EV: 64gp, 5-11-16 .250
  • PP: 64gp, 9-10-19 .296
  • Shots: 94 in 64 gp, 1.47 per game

I think a reasonable expectation (in terms of numbers) would be something like 75gp, 20-40-60 .800, which is basically 1.5x the offense from 07-08 (plus fewer times out of the lineup). Reasonable? Remember, he’s getting extra time at EVs plus a lot of special teams opportunities. Here’s his progress so far this season:

  • EV: 24gp, 1-7-8 .333
  • PP: 24gp, 2-5-7 .292
  • Shots: 44 in 24gp, 1.83 per game

Should he play in all games from here on out (he’s missed one game with the flu) and deliver offense at the same level as he is currently, Trukhno’s season ending numbers would be 79gp, 10-39-49 .620 for 08-09. That’s not “in the range” offensively but I do like the fact that his EV/60 is up (as we’ve discussed, Brodziak, Nilsson and now Schremp all improved markedly in this category just before/as they were elevated to the show).

Trukhno is a guy I’m always going to pull for, because he has more than one dimension to his game. Whenever I see him at TC he can make plays against more experienced men when possession in the offensive zone is established. He’s highly skilled. It’s all the other things (foot speed, positioning, etc) that seem to hold him back and I’d be interesting to know just how many times this season he’s been on the top line.

As a matter of fact the Springfield Falcons website supplies us with the lines every game so let’s post who he’s been playing with so far this season:

  • Gilbert Brule-12
  • Tyler Spurgeon-8
  • Bryan Lerg-7
  • Carl Corazzini-7
  • Ryan Potulny-6
  • Liam Reddox-4
  • Colin McDonald-1
  • Ryan O’Marra-1
  • Stephane Goulet-1
  • Rob Schremp-1

I think it’s pretty clear he was a 2nd line player through much of the first 24 games. When Schremp got called up Trukhno moved up the depth chart and has played several games with Potulny and Lerg. Earlier in the season he spent several games with Spurgeon and Brule, and I think you can argue those two guys were better than the scrubs.

Finally, let’s look at plus minus. I know it doesn’t give us a terrific view of minor leaguers but it can still be a useful tool. This season, there are 5 regular forwards who are better than Trukhno’s -1: Ryan Potulny, Rob Schremp, Bryan Lerg, Tyler Spurgeon and Guillaume Lefebvre. Brule is also at -1 and the only surprise in the group might be Corazzini (-5) who we can presume has played in bad luck since he’s been with the forwards above much of the season.

Anyway, mid-pack plus minus for 08-09. Fair?

A season ago, Trukhno was -16 for the season. Here’s the tail end of the Falcons F roster in 07-08:

  • -14 Ben Simon
  • -15 Rob Schremp
  • -16 Slava Trukhno
  • -21 Colin McDonald
  • -25 Tim Sestito

The best number was posted by Liam Reddox, +10 in 65gp (incredible based on the other F’s numbers). Trukhno has improved in this area, and combined with the better EV/60 number there are positive indicators. The question becomes it is enough? Has Trukhno done enough to be in the mix for callup? Is he improving enough in his second pro season that we can reasonably say he’s finding the range?

I don’t think it’s an obvious “yes” to any of those questions, so Trukhno falls back into the pack of prospects who have several positives and negatives in their game. There will be players from the group who emerge but Trukhno’s numbers don’t make it obvious he’ll be one of them.

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10 Responses to "#13 Winter Prospect: Slava Trukhno"

  1. knighttown says:

    Sorry LT, I’m sure some Truk comments will appear but I wanted to pick up the chat from last nights game.

    I know we were playing the equivalent of the Albany River Rats out there but I haven’t seen an Edmonton Oilers defense core look that good since the gap-toothed assasin left town. I’d say Shelley was only average but the rest of them must have read their scouting reports because they played exactly the way I dreamed they could.

    Visnovsky was the best player on the ice tonight. Effortless rushes that looked like Pitkanen except they were in the middle of the ice where Joni seemed to stay along the left wall. He didn’t do much once he got into scoring position but in fairness, i could see why he was patient and nothing seemed to open up.

    Denis Grebeshkov, who was a target in yesterday’s GDT, must have had his LSD stash taken away at the border. He used his skating to take time and space away from others and to create time for himself and that spin-o-rama breakaway pass was (although kind of trippy in an Acid way) amazing. If he can continue this play our top 4 will b great…and he did play like this for 4 months last year.

    Gilbert did exactly what he does well, and he did it often. He made some great cycle-breaking passes in his own zone which lead to clean breakouts. He closed on forwards coming into the zone and used his great stick to stop them in their tracks. He even through some “separate from the puck” hits!

    And don’t forget ol’ Ladi. He was a beast and other than the PP goal…I’ll come back to it…was not on for a scoring chance against to my eye. Again, if this becomes his base level of play, we’ve got our defense-only #5 we’ve been hoping for. And if the offense ever comes…well, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    Credit where credit is due. Steady Steve played his best game in awhile and it looks like Bruce was right in that SS+anyone else is a shitload better than SS+JS.

    And a final note on that penalty kill. From my eye, I’ve seen the Oilers use what I would call a “floating diamond” instead of a box more often than anytime before. A quick review of the play. Brodz and Reddox were up top and Brodz man (LD) went down the half wall and pssed to the RD. The RD moved across the blueline, following his partner all the way to the left boards. Reddox, who in a box would have stayed in his zone (put a square from the top of circles to the blueline on the right side of the ice), followed him the entire way leaving both forwards and a defenseman on the left side of the ice. One rather obvious pass to Weiss later and he’s got a one-timer from the top of the circles. Smid, who was the only player on that side of the ice would have had to vacate the front of the net in order to “rotate out” to the blueline. So, it begs the question.

    Did Reddox overpursue or is that the proper technique and Smid should have read the pass and rotated out quicker? And if that is the system, it’s a pretty shitty one.

    So we’ve either got a system problem or we’ve got inexperienced penalty killers who aren’t disciplined enough to stay in their zones. Until tonight I always assumed the latter, but after such a glaring “mistake” by Reddox, I’m not so sure anymore.

  2. doritogrande says:

    Based on the fact that he was a 5th rounder, anything we get from this dude will be gravy as far as I’m concerned.

  3. oilerdago says:

    DG – agreed. That or it would be nice if we could package some of these guys and get a really high pick in next year’s draft. A team like Tampa or Atlanta needs a lot more than one piece if they want to be competitive. Judging from LT’s analysis, it seems that we have a lot of talent – but not a lot of high end talent.

  4. Ribs says:

    Trukhno really misses Schremp this year and that’s all there is to it. Their names appeared in unison on the scoresheets for the last half of last seasons games. What this means for Trukhno, I’m not sure.

    Does he need to play with skilled players to be effective? Can he create offense at the pro level by himself? How long does it take a guy to figure that out? Was it all Schremp?

    I still think the guy is a player for the same reasons LT lists. He has the tools but needs to figure out how to use more than one of them at a time. Hopefully time is the answer but the clock is ticking…

  5. doritogrande says:

    “Does he need to play with skilled players to be effective?”

    His junior career with the PEI Rocket suggest this isn’t the case. Buddy carried that team by himself for two years. Much the same way Eberle did for his team last year.

    “Can he create offense at the pro level by himself?”

    While no player seemingly creates offense all by himself, I see where you’re coming from with this. He’s no Hemsky that’s for damn sure, but I think his level of compete is higher than any of the kids we have on this roster not named Cogliano. Trukhno seems prepared to go do the dirty work.

    “How long does it take a guy to figure that out?”

    Took our best offensive prospect in years two full AHL seasons to figure stuff out. I’d set that as the bench mark for players coming to the NHL through our farm team.

    “Was it all Schremp?”

    Only one I don’t have a convincing argument for or against. Schremp was quite the world beater in Springfield last year, so that’s a definite possibility.

  6. doritogrande says:

    Don’t know how many of you are going to keep track of the Canadian TC, but Eberle’s being put on to a line with Cody Hodgson and Zak Boychuk for tonight’s intrasquad game.


  7. Jonathan says:

    Barring an offensive outburst over the last half of the season, does the math give us any reason to believe that offense will be Trukhno’s NHL calling card?

    With the caveat that there’s a hell of a lot more to the game than counting stats, the only honest answer I have is “no”.

  8. pboy says:

    Way off topic and I apologize for that but I thought this article was amazing.


    Anyone who doesn’t believe that there are some franchises south of the border who are in serious trouble must have blinders on. The cap will be dropping next season, there can be no doubt of that. It will be interested to see what happens when a team has to slice 3-5 million off of their payroll and how they go about doing that. Will that just mean more vets willing to go to Detroit for bargain deals, just for a chance at Lord Stanley?

  9. knighttown says:

    Yeah P-Boy, that is alarming for sure. That Florida deal is amazing…it can be viewed as nothing more than a door crasher like 59 cent Kleenex at Rexall. Give it away to draw people in and pray to God they buy something else.

    Using an LT term, what is the “line in the sand” for US teams moved to Canada within the next 3 years. Gary, if you’re reading this, I’m a 33 year old male with lots of disposable income that would LOVE to be able to buy season tickets to your product. I’m in a community of 400,000 rabid hockey fans with no current NHL franchise within 2000 km. My major junior team regularly leads its league in average attendance selling out most games.

    The Halifax Panthers anyone?

  10. Lord Bob says:

    If you think for a second Bettman would let one of his prized southern expansion targets move someplace where people actually watch hockey, you’re taking the same drugs as Grebeshkov.

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