I just got a response back from Evgeny Belashenko of Russianprospects.com. If you can pull yourself away from that picture of the lovely Ms. Melikova, Evgeny speculates that Alex Polushin's lack of games at the Superleague level may be due to him not fitting with CSKA's new system under Slava Bykov who took over from the venerable Viktor Tikhonov. Whatever the reason, Polushin's mere 11 games at the Superleague level (3-3-6 with 4PIMs in those games) has led to some consternation amongst some Lightning fans. Others who are more vocal and less knowledgable on the web (AOL bottomfeeders I'm looking in your direction) have even gone so far to claim that Polushin doesn't deserve to be a highly rated prospect because he, to paraphrase their argument, hasn't played any hockey in two seasons.
And while it is true he missed most of last season with a knee injury, Polushin has NOT been merely serving popcorn in CSKA's pressbox this season. To the contrary, he has been playing for CSKA2 in the Farm/First League where he is at over a point a game pace at 10-13-23 in 21 games. To put that in some measure of perspective, a couple of seasons ago when Dimitry Kazionov was playing in the First League he had 14-13-27 in 34 games.
Ahhhhh, my first European Hockey Update away from the third world dictatorship that HF has become. Lets begin:
All in all, the beat goes on in Europe for the Lightning's prospects. They have some excellent overage properties like Somervuori, But and Norrena but have yet to see the explosion from youngsters like Polushin and Kazionov they might've hoped for. The exception to the rule is 2004 entry draft 6th rounder Karri Ramo, who is emerging as one of the two best young goalies in all of Finland after having a remarkable performance at Traverse City.