In my sixth installment of prospects I’d like to see the Rangers (#15) draft on June 24th, I take a look at C Vladislav Namestnikov who in his first season in the OHL led the London Knights with 30 goals. He also had 38 assists.
Namestnikov has great blood lines as his father was a journeyman NHLer while his uncle is Slava Kozlov who won multiple Stanley Cups in Detroit.
He is a big time skater with a quick burst, top speed, shiftiness and agility. He’s also difficult to contain while carrying the puck. His offensive skills and puckhandling ability are said to rival any players’ in the draft.
Namestnikov could have had better offensive numbers this season but it took him awhile to ajust to the North American game, but once it clicked and he found some chemistry with his teammates he didn’t disappoint.
On the negative end he needs to get stronger as he got knocked around a bit this year. He also needs to work on his defense.
Here’s what Central Scouting has to say about Namestnikov…
“Vlad plays a high-energy, two-way game he’s very aggressive on the forecheck and backcheck and has the ability to beat defenders outside and cut back to the net. He has an excellent wrist shot that he can release with accuracy on the rush. “I find him most effective at center, but he is versatile enough to play a solid game on the wing, he’s very responsible defensively and is not afraid of getting involved and battling for pucks. He’ll take the body and take a hit to make a play.”
Here’s some video…
Namestnikov represented Russia at the 2010 Under-18 World Championships in Belarus, tying for the team lead with five goals (5-2–7) in seven games.