Tampa Bay selects Vladislav Namestnikov in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Vladislav Namestnikov (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

General Manager Steve Yzerman, in his 2nd NHL draft as GM, selected London Knights center Vladislav Namestnikov  with the #27 overall selection in the 2011 NHL Draft.

Namestnikov is son of former NHL'er Yevgeny Namestnikov.

There had been much speculation before the selection that the Bolts might (should?) go after diminutive center Rocco Grimaldi, but Yzerman opted for the nephew of former team mate Slava Kozlov instead.

MyNHLDraft.com points out something that should be seen as a reason why the BOlts would take a chance on Namestnikov:  Because he will need time to develop:

Namenstnikov's downfall is that he needs to continue to bulk up before making the jump to the NHL. He has the tools to one day play in the NHL but the team that drafts Namenstnikov should let him play under Dale Hunter and his great staff of coaches before thinking of rushing him to the next level.

And from The Scouting Report to close out their review of the Russian center:

There have been those who compare Namestnikov to a Pavel Datsyuk type player, and while that comparison seems quite lofty, his playing style is somewhat similar. In addition to his dazzling puck skills and fluid skating, Namestnikov is a pretty good stick-checker and can be a solid defensive center when he wants to be. There’s obviously a lot of work for him to do if he ever wants to come close to the level that Datsyuk is on, but he does appear to have the drive to play in the NHL and seems like a kid that has good character off the ice. Namestnikov certainly has a unique skill-set, and with some time to develop, an NHL team could have a very nice prospect in their system with the Voskresensk native.


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