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Kirill A: Petrov at #17 on Top 25 Islanders Under 25

The natural born Kirills.
The natural born Kirills.

Kirill Petrov has been on the radar since 2008, but the radar remains at pre-WWII quality. Like countryman Kirill Kabanov, he was drafted with "first round talent" but considered a project due to extenuating circumstances. In Petrov's case, it was a four-year KHL contract that has kept him out of reach, but not out of mind.

Since that time, he's gone underused (for development purposes), gone back to juniros, traded from Ak Bars Kazan to Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk (and back) for more ice time, while also registering a nice performance at the WJC (10 points in 6 games) and some signs of offensive life in the KHL.

He's begun 2011-12 with three points in his first four games, but our Top 25 Under 25 vote was before that. He shows up at #17 (technically tied with Scott Mayfield) in our poll largely thanks to my optimistic vote:

How Our Panel Voted

Top 25 Under 25 mikb M11 CIL Dom KQ Web
Kirill Petrov
19 16 18 10 21 13

The other voters (and you) can chime in via comments, but here's my thinking: I was torn on Petrov because a few years of non-stardom takes the shine off one's draft year hype. Still what I like about Petrov remains true: Size, speed, skill. He's very hard to evaluate because of limited exposure and having to develop in the veteran pro's league of the KHL. But when he's gotten the opportunity among his peers, he's shown himself to be a dangerous weapon.

Corey Pronman's Top 10 Isles Prospects at Hockey Prospectus (note, this is prospects only, not pros under 25) ranked Petrov at #6, saying in part:

...while his counting numbers may seem underwhelming, consider he played on a team whose leading scorer had 30 points in 54 games. Petrov has above-average puck skills, and his technique for a 6'3", 200 lb. forward is very good. He's very good along the perimeter in terms of creating space for himself and evading pressure. Petrov uses his big frame well...

If the Islanders are able to bring him over next season, I'm sure there will be an adjustment period. But they'll also have a 22-year-old 6'3" winger on their hands. I'm reaching, but I'd like to think they'd be bringing over a guy further along the way to becoming a serious professional.

Previous Posts in This Top 25 Under 25 Series

The Top 25 under 25 is an idea conceived (I think) by Oilers blog Copper & Blue and copied elsewhere, incorporated here by popular demand. We cut it off at players who were under 25 going into this season, soAndrew MacDonald, having just turned 25 this month, barely misses eligibility.

For this first edition, we polled LHH authors Keith, WebBard, mikb, myself, and two particularly prospect-focused LHH regulars, CanadianIslesLifer and MatthewM11. We wanted enough to get a decent number of voters but not so much that we make the first run unwieldy. It is absolutely unscientific but with varied enough votes to get us thinking.