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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11 Responses to "Is There Hope For Slava Trukhno?"

  1. doritogrande says:

    I'd wager there isn't enough reasoning to put him in the top 20 prospects given the combined weights of his professional progress and his season thus far.

    If he were to be slated, he'd have to be significantly better than the high round middling prospects still on our radar (examples: O'Marra, McDonald, Petry) and he'd have to be the best of the late round selections. Which, given the way Omark, Hartikainen, Kytnar and now Rajala have been playing, he doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell.

    He doesn't have draft pedigree, and his explosive talent (high scoring junior offense) has all but dried up. He's likely headed out of North America next year, and the prospect pool won't skip a beat.

  2. hunter1909 says:

    Only if he's well above six feet tall.

  3. Bling says:

    If I recall correctly, didn't Trukhno suffer a pretty severe injury in his final year of junior eligibility? I wonder if that had an effect?

    Jesse Niniimaki was a guy who was having a real nice start in the FEL after we drafted him. He was trending really well, and then…he broke his shoulder. Wasn't the same since, not even close.

    The masses railed on KP for that pick, but if what happened hadn't happened — with respect to the injury — I think Niniimaki would be on this team today.

    Same might hold for Trukhno, to a lesser extent.

    Kinger: If you're out there, I'd like to continue our discussion on the Thrashers game in private. Shoot me your email address.

  4. FlamingPavelBure says:

    You guys have poisoned me.

    I can't stop using Corsi Qual Comp and Qual Team and all the advanced hockey stats in debates on a player now.

    And that also means not much comprehends the thing lol.

    DAMN YOU !

  5. Phil says:

    Are there any comps for a player who spends three years in the AHL, then 'makes it' in the NHL as a skill-offensive guy? I doubt it.

    Unless he transforms himself from junior scorer to an above average utility guy, the odds at this point have to be astronomical.

  6. Hockey Noob says:

    LT, nice counter-trey!

  7. doritogrande says:


    Regina and Brandon shot the lights out tonight. Final score:

    Brandon 8 Regina 7

    Jordan Eberle: 2-3-5 -1

    Toni Rajala?: 0-0-0 -1

    Goddamn Rajala.

  8. Traktor says:

    "Are there any comps for a player who spends three years in the AHL, then 'makes it' in the NHL as a skill-offensive guy? I doubt it."

    Rich Peverley spent 1 year in the ECHL and 3 years in the AHL. This is after spending 4 seasons playing college hockey.

    As bad as Trukhno has been in the AHL I honestly believe if he was given a chance in the NHL he would make the most of it.

  9. kris says:

    Does he have a chance?


    Heck no.


    Actually, everytime I've seen the kid play, he looks great. He's the kind of guy who could find his game as a 27 year old and play a few decent seasons. You never know.

    Not sure how to explain the declining results, though. But it's a bad sign for a prospect. Stagnation is one thing. Taking a step backwards is quite another.

  10. Matt N says:

    The purpose of the AHL is to grind players into something usefull at the NHL level.

    There is a whole army of players (Reasoner, Reddox etc) that tore the cover off the ball in Jr., but couldn't hit big league pitching. They had to learn how to be utility infielders in order to keep pulling a big league check.

    There is also the other side of the coin that keeps trying to play "Rob Schremp" hockey no matter how many times they get passed by. I think Trukno may be in this category. I haven't seen or heard of any attempt to change his game into something that will be useful at the next level.

  11. Ed says:

    Glencross looks like he broke out at age 23.

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