I’m not sure what they’ll do with Anton Belov. He’s an interesting character—size, calm, can move the puck and play with an edge—but there does seem to be a gap between Belov and the Oilers future. He didn’t dress for the last 4 games before the break, and hasn’t played 20 minutes in a night since December 21. If we graphed out Belov’s usage under Dallas Eakins, the down beat would have started around Christmas and ended with the 4 HS.
- Dmitry Chesnokov: “If I have to describe him in one sentence, I’d say that the past season, and considering it was a lockout season so there were a lot of NHL players in the KHL, he was probably, unofficially the best defenceman in the KHL. This is the best way to describe him. He was one of the brighter spots on the Russian national team at the World Championships. Everybody knows the … performance that team had, but he was one of the players who stood out. The amount of improvement he has shown the past few years along with his e maturity, I think Edmonton has got a great, great player.”
The Oilers are playing Mark Fraser over him currently, and that’s a shame. Belov’s not going to kill this thing offensively but he can do some things, and his Corsi for 5×5% suggests he’s not the problem.
Is he another Jan Hejda? The resume suggests he has enough value to get another NHL shot. Will it be Edmonton?