Aug 18, 2011

Season Preview: Kirill Petrov

Kirill Petrov

Position: RW/LW
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 209 lbs
Birthdate: April 13th, 1990 (21 years old)
Birthplace: Kazan, Russia
Acquired: Draft, round 3, 73rd overall, 2008 NHL Entry draft

2010-2011 Team: Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk
2010-2011 Stats: 47 GP - 8 G - 11 A - 19 P - 20 PIM
2011-2012 Team: Ak Bars Kazan
Team Role: Bottom 6 Forward

Last year: After playing for Ak Bars Kazan for so long and getting minimal playing time, in a bit of KHL contract trickery that we here in the NHL are a bit confused by, Petrov was loaned to another club last year, Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk. On this club, he had somewhat decent playing time (albeit still on a lower forward role) and was able to further establish himself as a top prospect for the Islanders. Much like in the SEL, when younger players get low playing time or have stats on the lower side, it says very little about them and the actual skill they possess. Petrov was easily one of the best players on Yugra according to multiple sources and was an absolute force for Yugra in their first round playoff series against Metallurg. Last season was a confirmation from Petrov that he is exactly the type of player we know he can be.

Petrov is back with Ak Bars this year to fulfill the final year of his KHL contract. As we know, Petrov does not receive a lot of playing time on Ak Bars with an experienced and talented forward core headed by Aleksey Morozov helming the top 6 offense. Petrov's final year may not be very telling stats wise, but the end of this year should tell us whether his consistent statements that he wants to play in the NHL hold true. 

Projections: 40 GP - 3 G - 4 A - 7 P


AT: Petrov has always been an interesting prospect. He's come to camps before (although didn't this year due to a family sickness), has stated his intention and desire to play in the NHL and willingness to play in the AHL if need be, and seems to be dedicated to hockey for his career. However, with so many convoluted contract situations coming out of the KHL not only with Petrov but with many other Russian prospects, it simply becomes a game of "wait and see". We know Petrov has the talent to be a top 6 winger in the NHL at one point in his career, but whether he actually sees the NHL at any point soon is something that is nothing more than conjecture and guessing at the moment. We hope at the end of 2012 we see Petrov in the AHL or NHL, but it's just a waiting game right now.

CH: I think Alex has it exactly right. Petrov was certainly worth taking a chance on in 2008, but if he will ever come to North America is anyone's guess. My hope for Petrov is that receives proper time to develop, as he already lost 2 years of development time between 2008-2010 before being loaned to Yugra last season. I would expect, however, for Petrov to play low minutes again for Kazan, which means that it would be in his best interest (and the Isles of course) to sign a contract with the team next year, even if that means adjusting for an entire season in Bridgeport. There is no question that Petrov's potential is sky high, but it's a matter of if he will ever reach it. My hope is that we get to see him play first hand come 2012-13, but really he's such a wildcard that it's as big of a wait and see game as it gets. His season starts soon, so we will certainly watch it closely to see how he does.

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