Kazan Ak-Bars winger Kirill Petrov is a great topic for lists such as these because, while he is an increasingly established pro, his KHL contract makes his real value to the Islanders open to interpretation, even if staying in Russia was motivated by family and CBA concerns.
He's still only 22 and could easily be an Islander before Father Time bumps him out of our Top 25 Islanders Under 25 pool ... but given the KHL ties, should he still be there at all?
The response from our panelists ranged from "honorable mention" outside the 25 to an outlier high vote by yours truly.
Note: For those LHH readers who sent their own selections in, JPinVA has them summarized in this FanPost. That one will be fun to measure against our panelists' results.
||4/13/90||2008||-||24||25||24||8||"Dead to me"
Panelists: CanadianIslesLifer making a return appearance, as well as most of the authors at LHH.
CanadianIslesLifer took the "honorable mention" approach, reasoning that Petrov shouldn't be on the radar after he extended in the KHL for a reported two years.
As the high, extreme vote, I should explain my own view: Though KHL-NHL translations are sketchy, what I've seen and read and deduced (from his stats) about Petrov at age 20 and 21 makes me think he would be a very useful pro today. For my 25U25 votes, I tend to weight present-day talent/readiness heavier than potential, so the fact Petrov has done good things in a very good pro league makes me put him above the majority of Islanders prospects.
Clearly, my vote gave him enough points to swing him up to #22, but I think it's fair to say that contract concerns among the others swung him down to #22. Anyway, he notched 16 goals and 29 points in 52 games this year at age 21 in a non-starring role, so I like his tools and his progress thus far.
For some of these overviews, we will feature the words of an anonymous scout or pundit on the player in question who wishes to be heard but prefers not to have his real name associated with a site or opinion such as this.
For Petrov, we turn to "Pierre McFrench" for his take on Petrov: "Doesn't bear down enough. I don't know his parents or his junior coach, so very tough for me to call him a good kid who knows how to win."
But seriously, I guess the question for the general audience is: With Petrov KHL-tied until age 24, do we keep him out of sight, out of mind? Or -- since many of these players won't be in the NHL for two years anyway -- is it proper to keep a small, non-denominational flame burning for Petrov, lest he give the franchise a boost when they need it most?
Disclaimers and Links You'll See with Each 25U25 Post
You can see which other prospects just missed our top 25 in this preview post. Others:
- At #25 was 2011 pick John Persson
- #24 saw another Swede from 2011, Johan Sundstrom
- At #23, the irritant known as Justin DiBenedetto
As you'll see with players in this 20-25 range, there's enough difference of opinion -- and uncertainty -- that some of them made ballots and some didn't.
To reflect the variety of ways you can place value on prospects with uncertain futures, we brought a range of philosophies to this: Some voters valued present talent/maturity more, some valued future potential more. All are averaged with the intent of capturing a moment in time in the evolution of the Islanders prospect pipeline.