Vitali Karamnov, the 18-year old son of former St. Louis Blue (and current Dynamo Moscow coach) Vitali Karamnov, has been invited to camp with the Edmonton Oilers. Undrafted, the younger Karamnov is in North America and is expected to spend the year with the Everett Silvertips of the WHL. “Vi”, as he likes to be known, attended the Oilers’ rookie camp this summer and showed enough to get invited back to fall camp. Rated as high as 48th for the 2007 Draft (The Hockey News had him at 63), Karamnov went undrafted due to the lack of the transfer agreement. Kevin Prendergrast, the Oilers’ VP of Hockey Operations, has stated that he was surprised he was still available late in the draftt, but decided not to use a pick because of recent troubles with Russian prospects (I am looking at you Mikhnov).
Scouting reports on the Russian center invariably describe him as being a good skater with an above average skill set. Analysis differs on his defensive game and his offensive tendencies. Some say he needs to add a physical dimension to his game while others say he plays a responsible game and will throw the body every chance he gets. From the blue line in, some scouts feel he tends to look for the pass too much (the Russian Ales Hemsky?) and some describe him as a sniper.
Though the captain of Russia’s entry in the U-18 tournament is not expected to challenge for a roster spot, he might well play his way into the Oilers prospect pipeline. Though the Oilers cannot sign the 18 year old, it may give them good insight for next year’s draft. Its a good sign that he is coming over to North America as an 18 year old. Further, having a coach for a father may help speed his development and curb the tendency for this newest generation of Russian prospect to play a selfish game.
Here is a video of Karamnov, from the Phoenix Coyotes website. Note that he will play in traffic, but he doesn’t seem to have much urgency in his defensive game.
News You Can Use Late in the Morning:
–The USHL and QMJHL square off tonight and tomorrow in the CCM Junior Classic Tournament. Indiana and Omaha will play Quebec and Rimouski. This should give junior hockey fans from both sides of the 49th some fodder for discussion. Notable prospects that will play in the tourney include Kelsey Tessier and Nico Sachetti. The son of Phoenix GM Don Maloney is skating with Omaha as a non-roster player.
-Former Alaska Seawolf Charlie Kronschnabel gets an invite to Oilers’ camp after being discovered at Chad Moreau’s conditioning camp in California. Word on the Oiler blogs is that he was in better shape than many current Oiler players.
–Dave Bell hired as an assistant coach in Springfield. He should help Bucky learn the ropes.
– The Score.ca has an interesting Cabbie segment titled “Hockey Day in Israel”.
-The Detroit Wings will offer $9 tickets for games this season. Hey, its cheaper than crack and downtown Detroit is the adventure of a lifetime.
-Caps prospect Karl Alzner has had a busy year. Its no wonder some kids burn out on hockey.
-Inside College Hockey has an interesting, albeit a little old, article on college prospects who may depart academia a little early to play professionally.
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