Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tracking Filatov

Once again its been too long since I've posted but I'm too much of a fan to sit and complain so instead I sit in the corner and sulk. One topic I'm following this season is the progress of Nikita Filatov. He is a player who many hyped as a rookie of the year candidate this year and HF had him as the 3rd best prospect this fall. Filatov possesses game breaking skill that could make him a topend offensive player in the NHL. I also have him in my keeper league ;) But in all seriousness, it should be of interest to Oilers fans as the Oilers have not converted many top 6 offensive prospects into players over the last decade - Hemsky and Horcoff being the exception. Gagner is tracking well and Penner well I'm not sure what to think of him despite his obvious turnaround this year. It was also an interesting and creative move by Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson, whom I miss more and more each day, to get Filatov more playing time. The threat of Filatov staying is Russia will be a definate concern but at least they arent wasting a crucial development year.

It's a small sample size but Filatov is off to a strong start in the KHL with 9 points in 5 games thus far. Until Filatov plays over 20 games I wont even look at NHLE's and, even then, luck would be a large factor. The KHL is typically a low scoring league where a PPG pace is considered a very strong season. Regardless, a PPG pace would be considered a success and Filatov is tracking above that threshold.

Because of the small number of games, we really cant conclude much. Did he have a 5 pt night against a bottom feeder? Is he getting all his points on the PP or from very soft minutes? Most importantly, Filatov is getting more minutes and likely (based on his numbers) more offensive minutes. Early on, this is looking like a good move for Columbus.
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