With their final pick (#200) in this weekend’s NHL Entry Draft the New York Rangers selected 20-year old Russian defenseman Mikhail Pashnin from Chelyabinsk Mechel of the Russian second league. It was quite a drop for the young blueliner, who earlier this month became the first overall pick in the inaugural KHL entry draft, during which teams selected players from a pool of non-KHL affiliated junior clubs and international leagues or KHL-schooled players under 22 years of age who were no longer contractually obligated their KHL club. (In other words, KHL teams were allowed to protect the top players from their own developmental systems, making it a bit of a “best of the rest” situation.)
Pashnin was selected by Sergei Nemchinov’s CSKA Moscow, which traded their top three picks in the four round draft in order to secure the first pick overall and take the highly sought after defenseman. Nemchinov, who serves as coach and general manager of CSKA, has coached Pashnin as part of Russia’s U20 junior team for the better part of two years, and has long been a fan of his aggressive style and strong character.
A defensive-minded defenseman, Pashnin plays a hard-nosed, physical game despite his somewhat undersized 5′11″, 187-pound frame. He likes to hit and is tough along the boards and in front of the net. Based on various reports in the Russian press, he’s got a good outlet pass and an accurate shot, but not a whole lot of offensive upside. In 32 games last season, he put up four goals and 12 assists for 16 points, adding 32 penalty minutes. An intelligent player, Pashnin will spend his summer studying to be a mechanical engineer at Chelyabinsk’s state agricultural and engineering university while preparing for what he hopes will be his first season in the KHL.
Thus far, CSKA has been unable to sign their prized pick due to a conflict with Mechel, which is insisting on financial compensation in excess of the 1.5 million rubles (approximately $48,000) offered by the KHL. It’s expected that an agreement will be worked out soon, and that Pashnin will be able to sign a KHL entry level deal. That contract will keep him in Moscow for the next two years and pay him 3 million rubles a year (approximately $96,400) if he sticks in the KHL, or 1 million rubles (approximately $32,100) if he plays for CSKA’s junior team in the newly-formed Molodezhnaya Hockey League (MHL).
The NHL is definitely on the radar for Pashnin, who doesn’t have a favorite NHL team, but admitted liking the logos of the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs. “Every player dreams of playing in the NHL,” Pashnin shared in an interview with AllHockey.ru in May. “The National Hockey League is the strongest in the world, and to get there is good fortune for any player.” Pashnin’s opportunity, should it come at all, will be at least two years away, despite the fact that he’s already 20.
Translations of the interview above and a couple more from earlier this month will be posted over the next few days…
No Comments so far
Leave a comment
Leave a comment