Is There Hope For Slava Trukhno?

At the far outer marker of the Oilers LW pro depth chart (Dustin Penner is at the top) comes the name Vyacheslav Trukhno. Chosen in the 4th round of the 2005 Entry Draft, Trukhno delivered two terrific junior seasons at ages 18 and 19. His 20-year old AHL season started slowly (4-6-10 -1 before Christmas 2007 in 23 games) and ended quite well (final 20 games in 07-08 he went 8-10-18 -2) with some ups and downs in between. His 21-year old AHL season started well (1-6-7 +3 in his first 8 games) and ended poorly (1-2-3 -5 in his final 14 games) with more downs than ups in between.

This season, Trukhno was horrible in the season’s first 6 games (0-0-0, -1) but has come along nicely in the last 10 games (2-4-6 -2). Today he had a goal and an assist, his first multiple point game since 2008 December. Is Trukhno making any progress? Is there still a chance for him as a prospect? I’m preparing this winter’s top 20 and one of the issues at the end of the list are questions surrounding guys like Trukhno. Let’s start by listing his pro seasons:

  • Age 20: 64gp, 14-21-35 .547
  • Age 21: 56gp, 7-19-26 .464
  • Age 22: 16gp, 2-4-6 .375

As I recall Slava was mid-group in terms of toughness in the Jonathan Willis Springfield study. This is a guy I always liked because he had a wide range of skills–great hands, excellent passer, good vision, tough enough, speed was good not great.

This guy has talent. Craig MacTavish: “The guy is a player. He’s strong, sees the ice well and knows where to put the puck. On the powerplay, he sees all of his options and explores them all. He makes it tough on defenders.”

I’m watching Trukhno closely this fall and winter because it might just be his ‘last-chance Texaco’ with Rob Daum and the organization. I’ve noticed the coach giving him good linemates and he appears to be getting his share of PP chances. I think it’s up to him, and it appears the organization has done it correctly right down the line. But we’re in year three and waiting for the light to go on. During his three minor league seasons in Springfield, Trukhno has seen the following forwards called to the show ahead of him: JF Jacques, Rob Schremp, Zack Stortini, Robert Nilsson, Liam Reddox, Patrick Thoresen, Marc Pouliot, Tim Sestito, Gilbert Brule, Ryan Potulny, Ryan Stone, Ryan O’Marra. I know of no time in which Slava Trukhno was under serious consideration for recall, despite his impressive showing in TC and the MacT quote above. Is there any hope for this player?

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