Comments thread closed. Enjoy the weekend. I could have a little something later. Nothing big…CB
10:30 am: The low risk/high reward gamble by Garth Snow and Ryan Jankowski to use an extra 2008 third round pick on talented Russian prospect Kirill Petrov is about to pay off – and very likely way ahead of schedule.
According to his agent, Alexander Tynjynch, Petrov has accepted an invitation to participate in the Islanders’ prospects camp after the June draft. The 6-3, 205-pound left wing has even received the blessing of the Kontinental Hockey League and his team, Ak Bars, to be part of the camp.
While a signed contract is not a condition of his participation in the prospect camp, there has been momentum towards getting Petrov out of his KHL contract – which has two seasons remaining – and signing an Entry Level deal with the Islanders.
“He is guaranteed to be at the prospect camp,” Tynjynch told Point Blank. “I have been speaking with Kirill every day to prepare for this. He wants to join the Islanders organization this year and start his career in their system. There is still a lot of work to be done if he is to be signed and join the Islanders’ roster. There has to be an agreement between the KHL and the NHL, and the Islanders and AK Bars, but I think you would agree that Kirill being set to attend the Islanders prospect camp is a very good first step.”
Asked if Petrov accepts the likelihood that he would start the 2010-11 season with Bridgeport of the American Hockey League, Tynjynch said, “You cannot say that for sure. The decision is ultimately is up to the general manager and coach. This is a very highly-skilled player. If everything works out, Kirill would attend the main camp in September with the goal of making the NHL team.”
Beyond his impressive play for Team Russia at the World Junior Championships, Petrov is coming off two straight seasons of marginally stunted development. As a member of the high-powered Ak Bars team in the KHL, cracking the lineup has been difficult for Petrov. He has played the majority of the last two seasons in the second-tier league.
Petrov, who turned 20 on Tuesday, is actually with the big club now. He was in the lineup for Ak Bars’ last two playoff games, but did not receive a second of icetime. “It happens,” said Tynjynch. “It’s okay. I’m telling you, most of the talented North American players Kirill’s age would not be played by Ak Bars, either.”
The top-six forward prospect was considered by most scouts to be a mid-to-late first round talent. However, because of rumors of Petrov’s lack of desire to play in North America and his long-term contract with Ak Bars, NHL teams elected not to gamble an early round draft pick on him. Since the Islanders had three second round picks and three third-rounders in 2008, the risk was minimal. Now the Islanders may see a pair of high-end prospects, Travis Hamonic (second round, 53rd overall) and Petrov (third round, 73rd overall) emerge from the six-pack.
Petrov and Tynjynch are so excited about the potential of the player beginning his Islanders career that they have spoken with Snow about staying here before the team’s main camp in China in September. Petrov could skate with the Islanders that partake in unofficial workouts at Iceworks in August or he could be part of a preparation camp Tyjynch’s agency hosts in Ottawa for their clients.
“Kirill has matured physically and mentally,” said the agent. “He’s ready.”
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