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Another prospect who could face the Russian factor this year is Vladislav Kamenev who has spent time at both centre and left wing. He was the third overall pick in the 2013 KHL Draft, and has even got in some KHL experience playing against men at Magnitogorsk under Mike Keenan. However, the majority of this report is based on the four international tournaments where I have seen Kamenev. He played on Team Russia at the 2013 Under 17 World Hockey Challenge coming home with a silver medal. He also played in the 2013 Ivan Hlinka tournament, impressing with his two-way game. Kamenev played a big role for the Russian squad at the 2013 World Junior A Hockey Challenge (U19) scoring seven points in five games and winning silver. Finally I was able to see film of Kamenev at the 2014 IIHF Under 18 World Championships where he captained the Russian team putting up two goals and seven points in five games.
Left Wing/Centre – Shoots Left
Born Aug 12 1996 – Orsk, Russia
Height – 6’2″ – Weight 203 lbs (188 cm/92 kg)
Vladislav Kamenev is an extremely fundamentally sound player given his age. His game shows very few weaknesses at this age, and while he may not have the absolute high end skill of some of the other prospects in this draft, he has very few weaknesses. He’s a player that just does everything well. He is a good skater, with above average top-end speed, good acceleration, and strong edgework. Kamenev has good size and excellent balance which allows him to protect the puck and to win board battles down low.
Kamenev projects as a centre going forward. He is more of a playmaker than a scorer, with very good vision and passing skills. He makes his linemates better by extending plays on the cycle and then finding them in good spots. He has strong stickhandling skills, further helping him to protect the puck and slow the game down in the offensive zone. Kamenev has very good hockey iq, and almost always seems to make the smart play with the puck on his stick. Kamenev likes to hit and is very good on the forecheck. Even though he is more of a playmaker, he can score by getting to the front of the net, or with an accurate wrist shot that features a good release.
Vladislav Kamenev’s defensive game is strong. He is already pretty good on faceoffs especially against his age group at the international level. He plays a gritty and aggressive game in all three zones and supports his defence well on the backcheck. Kamenev is positionally sound, and reads the play extremely well, leading to him being able to cut down on passing and shooting lanes. Kamenev is already a strong penalty killer.
Kamenev’s style is reminiscent of Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings, though this is a stylistic comparison and not a talent based one. His ceiling is likely to be a second line NHL centre who will be used to kill penalties and match up against other teams best players. However, even if he doesn’t make it as a 2nd liner, he still could be a valuable piece on a third or fourth line.
Here are some highlights of Kamenev in action.
Come back tomorrow to check out my #48 prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft.
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