According to this article on RDS’s website, Alexander Avtsin would like to hop over the pond and make the Canadiens roster as early as next season.
I think it’s great if a young player shows that the desire and if he shows the skill to do it…. then even better.
But the road ahead for Avtsin will likely not be that smooth unless he manages to knock the socks off of many in the organization.
Personally I believe that Avtsin coming to play in North America next season is a great idea. But as to the route he takes when he gets here, that may depend.
I think there’s something here for him to gain from. If it’s with the Junior de Montréal who current hold his rights in “the Q” or if he was able to jump to Hamilton…. there’s some experience for him here that would help him make the jump to the NHL in a couple of years (hypothetically).
Since he’s never really played in the Major Juniors here, working hard at coming over and lighting up the league would be a goal I would give him. Plus, with the Juniors… .he’d be in Montreal, so local fans could follow him much more closely. Dreamers would dream….. etc.
If he was able to make the jump to Hamilton, then he would be in a really great position. Not sure how many young players understand, especially the ones with oodles of talent. But hockey is a team sport and for a team to be successful there really needs to be a system, a game plan… and people (players) need to buy into it. You need to be coach able. There may be a (short) few exceptions to this rule…. but I seriously doubt there would be many.
In Hamilton with the Bulldogs, there’s a great coach/teacher waiting in Guy Boucher. Experience in the minors is an important step to most players who eventually find their way into the NHL.
Very few guys can step right into an NHL roster and fit in, play their role well and develop the confidence needed to become a solid NHLer. (yes there are some exceptions)
What I would suggest (or prefer) would be that Avtsin play in the Q next season. That not only gives Trevor Timmins and the scouting a more accurate picture of where Avtsin is in a north american style game but it would also give Avtsin himself a picture of where he is in a different style of play…. which I would think is of equal importance for a guy who really seems to want to succeed over here.
And the season after that if he can make the cut, throw him in Hamilton where Avtsin will get some pro-hockey experience with some guys who have tasted the NHL level and other “budding” players. Gain some experience, try to light it up.
Try to become “a player” in the minors before wanting to jump in.
That’s what I would envision. Maybe I’m wrong. But I don’t want to rush guys. I tend to like Detroit’s model and some of the guys they’ve found will play, be coached, gain confidence and develop.
Since he’s playing in the KHL already, he very well may find himself with the Bulldogs next season. Time will tell.