Another year will burn off the calendar (it appears) before we see one of Russia’s sons, Anton Slepyshev. I saw him on television from my living room during Christmastime and was quite impressed, so of course am not impatient for his arrival. Slepyshev (whose last name is a nickname waiting to happen) is doing the ‘Jani Rita dying on the vine in his country’s pro league’ as he plays nine minutes a night behind some foreigner (well, Teemu Hartikainen).
SLEPYSHEV IN THE KHL
- 2011-12 (age 17) 39GP, 4-3-7 (8:55 TOI, 28 shots) (1.21 points-per-60) (4.83 shots-per-60)
- 2012-13 (age 18) 26GP, 7-2-9 (12:40 TOI, 63 shots) (1.64 points-per-60) (11.48 shots-per-60)
- 2013-14 (age 19) 36GP, 3-5-8 (10:18 TOI, 59 shots) (1.30 points-per-60) (9.55 shots-per–60)
Le sigh. Our man Bogdan has a ribald (RIBALD!) 2.20 points-per-60 in the KHL, while Slepslappy is riding with John Candy and Steve Martin in Planes, Trains and Automobiles (“YOU’RE GOING THE WRONG WAY!!”).
- Craig MacTavish: “He has a dynamic skill set. High-speed skill. He competes well. There’s plenty of tools there.”
In the time he played in the World Juniors this past season, Slepyshev looked like a prospect (7GP, 2-5-7) more than worthy of a pro contract. We know he’s signed for another year in the KHL, and Kady Hobbins from Hockey’s Future puts the coming season in perspective:
- Hobbins: “2014-15 will truly be a make-or-break year for the 20-year-old prospect, as his performance will influence whether or not the Oilers perceive enough value to bring him to North America.”
I have him at No. 18, Hobbins about the same and the CofH boys a little higher on the prospect lists. We’ve all moved Yakimov up the list, and that’s fair he had the better year. I can’t help thinking Slepyshev’s KHL season might end up like the last one, and wonder if the Oilers might be wise to see if they can pry him out of there now. It’s probably too late, but Oiler fans saw Jani Rita, Alexei Mikhnov and other top prospects die on the vine like this and the impact during development seasons can be massive.