Russian 2010 Draft Class: Where Are They Now

The 2010 Russian draft class was one of the best of the latest few years as many good players came to the league with the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. During the 2010 selections, a total of eight Russian players were picked. Just as in any draft, there have been surprises, disappointments, and pleasant confirms. Five years seem to be an adequate term to try to come to some conclusions.

8th overall – Alexander Burmistrov (Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets)

Position: C
Size: 6’1″, 180 lbs.
2015-16 League: NHL

Probably not the best choice as 8th overall pick, Burmistrov thus far appeared in only 204 regular season games, spending two years in the KHL in the meantime, where he didn’t shine either. Now Burmistrov is back to the NHL, but as October 30th, he only scored one goal and three points in 10 games. The season, of course, is still young, but at this point it can be said that Burmistrov did not develop the way it was expected after his excellent 2009-10 campaign with the Barrie Colts of the OHL. His cap hit isn’t unfavorable at one million and a half, therefore the Jets may be patient with him before jumping to any conclusion.

[Related read: Will Alexander Burmistrov Return To Winnipeg In 2015-16?]

16th overall – Vladimir Tarasenko (St. Louis Blues)

Position: RW
Size: 6’0″, 219 lbs.
2015-16 league: NHL

If you look at the 2010 draft list, it’s easy to see how smart the Blues were when they decided to select Tarasenko with the 16th overall pick. Only five players picked before him have more career points (Hall, Seguin, Johansen, Skinner, Fowler), and all of them have played a significantly superior number of games. Moreover, he’s less than 30 goals to the milestone of 100 NHL career goals and it can be expected that he will reach it this season, barring injuries. Tarasenko developed into one of the top players of the league and probably he taken the right decision spending a few extra seasons in Russia, without being rushed like Burmistrov. This summer Tarasenko signed a long-term contract, being locked up by the team with a 8-year, 60-million deal.

[Related read: Tarasenko Excited About New Contract]

26th overall – Evgeny Kuznetsov (Washington Capitals)

Position: C
Size: 6’0″, 190 lbs.
2015-16 league: NHL

The Caps had to be patient with “Kuzy”, but now he’s their first line center and is currently one of the top NHL scorers. Kuznetsov, much like Tarasenko, decided to honor his KHL commitments before crossing the Ocean to play in Washington with Alex Ovechkin and other Russian players. It can be said that the Kuznetsov selection has been a successful one as the Chelyabinsk native is a very talented player who can improvise plays and both score and pass the puck. Kuznetsov became what the Caps expected him to be during last year playoffs, and now he is a very important player for his team, other than one of their top scorers. Exactly what a first round pick is supposed to be.

[Related read: Kuznetsov Delivering For The Caps]

Evgeny Kuznetsov
Evgeny Kuznetsov (Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

65th overall – Kirill Kabanov (New York Islanders)

Position: LW
Size: 6’2″, 192 lbs.
2015-16 league: KHL

One of the most enigmatic players of his generation, Kabanov never made it to the NHL in spite of his extremely smooth-hands and phenomenal skating ability. Mostly should be addressed to the mental side of his game. While he didn’t apparently had any problem while in North America, he was never considered a hard-working player in Russia, and has had frictions with coach both at club and national team level. After spending two years in the Swedish Hockey League, Kabanov tried to get back to the NHL this off-season, being on a try-out with the Rangers, but it didn’t work. Recently Kabanov signed a one-year deal in the KHL. He signed with Salavat Yulaev Ufa, who had his KHL rights after buying  them for the alleged sum of one million dollars before of his move overseas. He is now playing on the fourth line for the team, but he just arrived in the team and this may change. In any case, gone are the days where he was compared to Ilya Kovalchuk or was thought of being a sure first round pick.

86th overall – Stanislav Galiev (Washington Capitals)

Position: RW
Size: 6’1″, 187 lbs.
2015-16 league: NHL

After a few years, finally Galiev risen through the ranks and earned a spot in the Capitals lineup, even if he is actually not playing each game. Galiev moved to North America at a very young age, in 2008, when he left the Dynamo Moscow system to play for the Indiana Ice of the USHL. After playing junior and minor hockey and some accolades like winning a Memorial Cup and a Kelly Cup, Galiev has now find himself in the main roster of the Capitals, even if he doesn’t play each game, at least right now. Galiev signed a new contract this summer, which is a two-way deal this season and one-way for the 2016-17 season. That being said, probably the Capitals will use this year to prepare Galiev to a more important role within the team next season.

101st overall – Ivan Telegin (Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets)

Position: LW
Size: 6’2″, 185 lbs.
2015-16 league: KHL

Telegin did not manage to translate his junior success to an NHL spot with the Jets, and after playing in St. John’s and a few controversies, he found his way back at home with CSKA Moscow, where he is now at his second season. The Jets, still the Thrashers when they drafted Telegin (and Burmistrov) could probably have picked a better player at the fourth round, but he actually had a very good career in junior hockey and looked very promising with the Russian junior national team. At this point, it’s hard to imagine that Telegin could have a successful return to the NHL in his career.

158th overall – Maxim Kitsyn (Los Angeles Kings)

Position: LW
Size: 6’3″, 207 lbs.
2015-16 league: ECHL (Projected)

Pretty much like Telegin, Kitsyn didn’t manage to successfully convert a tremendous early career to a good pro career in the NHL. After shining back in Russian, both at KHL level and especially with the junior national team, Kitsyn produced on a consistent basis only at ECHL level. However, he is still in North America and he is still learning, therefore it’s definitely too early to cross him out as a potential NHL player. Kitsyn is now at the last year of his Entry-Level contract, therefore he needs to produce in whatever league he will play to convince the Kings to give him another chance.

195th overall pick – Maxim Chudinov (Boston Bruins)

Position: D
Size: 5’11”, 203 lbs.
2015-16 league: KHL

One of the top defenders who haven’t had a chance to play in the NHL, Chudinov is definitely a player to keep track of. He has a lot of experience under his belt, being now at his ninth season of pro hockey, therefore he may still be an interesting option for the Bruins. Chudinov has the potential for a career path similar to the one of Alexei Emelin of the Montreal Canadiens, even if he is a different type of player. Chudinov’s contract with SKA St. Petersburg will run out on next April 30th, and maybe this time he will be willing to try crossing the Ocean.

[Related read: THW’s List Of Prospects Playing In The KHL (15/16 Edition)]