Laurie Carr at Beyond the Blueshirts has the latest update on Mikhail Pashnin, the Rangers 7th round pick (#200 overall) in 2009, which clarifies some information provided a few weeks ago. It was initially believed that Pashnin would be coming to North America no matter what, and would likely play his first North American season in the AHL with the CT Whale this year. Laurie, translating an interview with Pashnin, states that no decision has been made yet.
Maybe having one of the greatest defenseman in your country’s history tell the press you’re making a mistake is enough to give one pause. Or maybe the New York Rangers aren’t offering the kind of contract Mikhail Pashnin and his agent were hoping for. Either way, it appears Pashnin’s signing with the club that made him the 200th overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft may not be as imminent as it once seemed.
There are two things that catch my attention here, other than Pashnin having second thoughts.
The first is that phrase “one of the greatest defensemen in your country’s history”. That says a lot about Pashnin, considering Sergei Zubov is considered to be one of the best –if not, the best– Russian defensemen ever. That’s one big statement right there. Apparently I don’t know how to read. The article is referring to Slava Fetisov calling out Pashnin, not Pashning having potential to be one of the best. This is what happens when you write after midnight.
The second thing is the obvious one, that Pashnin is considering changing his mind. You can’t blame the kid really, he’s 22 and the adjustment from Russia to the US is very difficult. There is a language barrier, he would be an entire hemisphere away from his country and family, and it isn’t even guaranteed that he would play in the NHL. In fact, it is very unlikely that he would sniff NHL time this season.
The Rangers want Pashnin in the system right away so they can figure out what they have in him. It is also better for his development to start adjusting to the smaller rink of the North American game. The KHL isn’t necessarily a bad league, but the AHL would give him a greater opportunity to hone his skills against future NHL players.
For now, it looks like he will at least be in New York for camp, and maybe the Traverse City tournament. I’m sure he is going to play out camp and preseason, and make his decision then.