Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
Florida Panthers Facebook Florida Panthers Twitter Florida Panthers Google+ Florida Panthers Pintrest Florida Panthers Instagram Florida Panthers
2011 NHL Draft

Namestnikov Blends Russian, North American Styles

Friday, 06.17.2011 / 11:08 AM / 2011 NHL Draft
NHL.com
X
Share with your Friends


Namestnikov Blends Russian, North American Styles
London Knights forward Vladislav Namestnikov was born in Russia, but is no stranger to hockey in North America.
In order to view this page you need JavaScript and Flash Player 9+ support!
Author: Mike G. Morreale | NHL.com Staff Writer

Don't be fooled by the name Vladislav Namestnikov. He was born in Russia, but also possesses quite a bit of North American flair.
 
In fact, half his life has been spent in North America, so the phrase "culture shock" never has applied to the 18-year-old forward born in the industrial city of Voskresensk -- the birthplace of current and former NHL players such as Igor Larionov, Vyacheslav Kozlov, Valeri Kamensky, Andrei Markov and Valeri Zelepukin.
 
He tagged along with his dad, Jevgeni, who played eight seasons in North America, including parts of five seasons in the NHL with the Vancouver Canucks, New York Islanders and Nashville Predators, and was a big fan of his uncle, Kozlov, who won back-to-back Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and '98.

"When I was 4 years old, my mom and dad put me on skates," Namestnikov told NHL.com. "I grew up watching my dad and uncle and they were a big influence. When I was here, the best advice I was given came from my dad. He told me to keep my head up because it's really physical. I'm used to the little surfaces of ice, and in Russia it's a little different, but I'm accustomed to that, too."

The lessons he learned at a young age have benefitted Namestnikov, who is considered one of the top North American skaters available for the 2011 Entry Draft, which will be held June 24-25 in St. Paul, Minn. He finished No. 11 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters. In 68 games with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League, the 5-foot-11 1/2, 170-pound center recorded 30 goals, 68 points, a plus-12 rating and just 49 penalty minutes.

What Namestnikov might lack in size, he compensates for in straight-ahead speed.
 
"Vlad plays a high-energy, two-way game," Central Scouting's Chris Edwards told NHL.com. "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."
 
2011 NHL ENTRY DRAFT
Lowry Murphy

From Rats To Pros

Adam Kimmelman - NHL.com Staff Writer
During the 1995-96 hockey season, South Florida was over-run by rats.
READ MORE ›

FINAL RANKINGS:
NORTH AMERICAN: Skaters | Goalies
INTERNATIONAL: Skaters | Goalies

FEATURED STORIES:
2011 NHL Draft Profile: Zack Phillips
Nugent-Hopkins Exceeding High Expectations
Draft Memories: David Booth

DRAFT CENTRAL:
PANTHERS DRAFT CENTRAL
NHL DRAFT CENTRAL
When Namestnikov turned 8, he returned to Russia to hone his skills, playing for his hometown hockey school in Voskresensk while also competing internationally for his country and in senior leagues against men at a young age.
 
"I played with men as a 16-year-old and got stronger, so when I got over here (North America), I knew what was going on," he said.
 
At the 2009 World Under-17 Challenge, he had 8 goals and 10 points in five games. He then represented his country at the World Under-18 Championships that year, notching 7 points in seven games. Namestnikov would continue his rapid ascent up the Team Russia ladder playing against men in Russia's second division with Khimik Voskresensk, scoring 11 goals and 17 points in 26 games.
 
While Namestnikov considers it an honor to be compared to Larionov, he's holding out hope for the day hockey analysts will refer to him as the second coming of Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk. Lofty expectations for sure, but his two-way acumen, speed and smarts on the ice certainly are familiar traits.
 
"He's Russian but plays a North American-style game," London teammate Scott Harrington, No. 98 on Central Scouting's list, said. "He's good with the puck like most Russians, but he's got some grit to him and doesn't mind throwing the body around. He really competes out there and moves the puck well … qualities that will be very attractive to NHL scouts."
 
Niagara IceDogs defenseman Dougie Hamilton, Central Scouting's top-rated North American defenseman (No. 4 overall), also has been impressed by Namestnikov.
 
"We've played against them and he was definitely one of their fastest players," Hamilton said. "You just notice his speed a lot."
 
While he prefers center, Namestnikov is OK with filling in on the wing when needed. In fact, he admits he can play either side in a pinch and also has had success as a penalty killer.
 
"I find him most effective at center, but he is versatile enough to play a solid game on the wing," Edwards said. "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."
 
Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at @mike_morreale

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 48 30 14 4 156 127 64
2 NYI 46 31 14 1 151 129 63
3 DET 47 27 11 9 139 119 63
4 MTL 45 29 13 3 123 106 61
5 PIT 46 26 12 8 138 117 60
6 NYR 44 27 13 4 134 106 58
7 WSH 46 24 13 9 137 120 57
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 44 20 14 10 107 122 50
10 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
11 TOR 48 22 23 3 142 150 47
12 PHI 48 19 22 7 130 146 45
13 CBJ 45 20 22 3 113 142 43
14 NJD 47 17 22 8 107 134 42
15 CAR 46 16 25 5 98 120 37
16 BUF 47 14 30 3 89 167 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 44 15 12 1 27
J. Huberdeau 41 8 17 1 25
A. Ekblad 44 6 19 7 25
J. Jokinen 43 4 20 0 24
J. Hayes 36 13 7 1 20
B. Boyes 42 9 11 1 20
S. Bergenheim 33 7 9 4 16
T. Fleischmann 38 5 8 9 13
V. Trocheck 28 4 9 6 13
D. Kulikov 39 1 12 -2 13
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 17 10 8 .923 2.32
A. Montoya 3 4 2 .887 3.09
 
FloridaPanthers.com is the official Web site of the Florida Panthers. Florida Panthers and floridapanthers.com are trademarks of the Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.