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Kirill Kabanov Profile

Kirill Kabanov
Ht/Wt: 6' 2"/176 lbs
Position: LW
Team: Moncton (QMJHL)

Kirill Kabanov's Player Profile

Kirill Kabanovís 2009/2010 season was one to forget. After being dubbed as the next great Russian prospect back in 2007, Kabanov appeared in 10 games with Spartak Moscow in the KHL a season ago, despite only being 16 years old. Things were promising as Kabanov had already shredded the Under 17ís as an underager, and then notched 11 points in only 7 games at the Under 18ís as an underager. The talk of a Kabanov/Hall rivalry seemed to be inevitable. That was until, everything rapidly fell apart in one of the most dramatic off-ice seasons for a hockey player in recent memory.

His KHL rights were sold from Spartak to Salavat Ufa, where he was required to sign a new contract which did not include an NHL escape clause. Flustered, Kabanov fled from Russia, expressing his desire to play major junior hockey in Canada, after recently being selected with the 7th Overall Pick in the 2009 CHL Import Draft by the Moncton Wildcats. While it was initially unclear if the transfer would be approved, with Ufa blocking the move, Kabanov successfully petitioned the IIHF to approve the transfer, thus making him eligible to play for the Wildcats.

The young Russia finally made his long awaited North American debut on October 10th, where he notched his first QMJHL goal and followed it up with a 4 point outing in his second game. For a moment, it seemed as though there would be a three pronged race between Hall, Kabanov and Seguin for top honours, and that his past issues had been rectified. Then, the wheels slowly started to fall off. Kabanov suffered a wrist injury which forced him to miss considerable time, including the World Junior Championships in Saskatchewan. After making a return to the Moncton line-up, he found his role to be reduced on the contending club, which eventually led to a catastrophe that proved to be the final undoing of his draft stock in many peopleís eyes.

In his only QMJHL playoff game against Cape Breton, Kabanov took a poor penalty in the first period, and was benched at the mid-way point of the second period. It would prove to be his last game in the QMJHL this season. In the frenzy that ensued, Kabanov left the Wildcats, poised to join Russia for the Under 18ís, where he was promptly kicked off the team after the coaching staff determined they would be better off without the highly touted forward.

Suffice to say, his draft stock has fallen from being a consensus top three pick, to maybe not even going in the first round. NHL teams will have to consider his character in the ever important interview opportunities they have, because there is no doubt that he still has blue-chip talent. Heís lanky, but his size is very enticing. Offensively, when heís on his game, he can simply dominate. He sees the ice well and has a very impressive shot, but can also utilize his teammates very effectively. Consistency and intensity are some question marks, and Kabanov has been labelled as a prima donna numerous times, but the sheer skill he possesses canít be questioned.

Where he ends up going in the draft will be among the biggest storylines come draft day, if not more interesting then the debate for first overall. While his mistakes on and off the ice this past year have certainly hurt him, heís still very young and will have plenty of time to prove that he has what it takes to be a consummate professional who can be an impact player at the next level.

Pros: Smooth Skating, Playmaking ability, Heavy shot, Elite offensive skills
Cons: Off-Ice character issues, Consistency issues, Lack of strength
Skillset comparison: Less Talented Evgeni Malkin
Submitted by: Scott Campbell of TheScoutingReport.org

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