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Anyone think that it may be a smart idea to draft Nikolai Kulemin, he is one of the wingers on Malkin's line currently and the majority of the season. He isnt ranked very high, so he should go in the 3rd round at best.
I have always believed that some players have that chemistry with certain players, and no matter of individual ability. Keepin linemates together may be an idea to toss around for the future.
If he's avaialble in the 3rd or 4th round and it isn't a reach to pick him then I would say grab him. Goal scorers are severely lacking in our system. But will this guy play in the NHL in the next 3-4 years? Doubtful. So it doesn't matterif they get him or not.
If you really want to go that route, trade our 2nd rounder, which will be #33 overall, and something else to Anaheim for Chistov. He plays for Mettalurg and is able to play in the NHL now. That would be plenty of familiarity for Malkin.
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Kulemin is an older kid. I would not pick Kulemin until day two of the draft...4th round or later and the transfer agreement with Russia needs to be final before the draft. He's not the slam dunk European prospect that you take without an agreement in place.
He has an '86 birthday (7-14-86). So he was eligible for the 2004 draft (which I believe he opted out of) and was passed over in the 2005 draft. He did have a decent WJC (4-2-6, +3, 25 PIM in 4 games). His numbers with Magnitogorsk are not bad (5-8-13, +6, 8 PIM in 31 games).
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Word on the street is that very few Russian players will be considered on the first day due to the lack of an agreement. The shortened rights duration imposed by the new CBA and Russian short sighted greed has made them almost black balled from the NHL right now.
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