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Atlanta Thrashers -> Zherdev (4th overall this year) Signs with Columbus...
 
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  MadKovalchuk17
 
August 16, 2003 12:27:24 am
 
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Zherdev (4th overall this year) Signs with Columbus...
Not Thrashers News, but he is the first one out of this years draft class to be signed.

Blue Jackets sign 2003 first-round pick Zherdev


August 15, 2003
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) - The Columbus Blue Jackets locked up their 2003 first-round draft pick Friday, signing right wing Nikolai Zherdev to a multi-year contract.

Terms were not disclosed.

Zherdev, the top-ranked European skater in the draft by NHL Central Scouting, was taken fourth overall by the Blue Jackets. Last season with the Central Army Team in the Russian Elite League, the 18-year-old collected 12 goals and 12 assists in 44 games.

"When we selected Nikolai at this year's draft, I was excited because we got the player who was at the top of our list," Columbus general manager Doug MacLean said. "We're even more thrilled today that we can officially welcome him to the Blue Jackets organization. He is a tremendously skilled, explosive player who, along with Rick Nash and Rostislav Klesla, should give our club three of the most exciting players in the NHL for years to come."

The 6-1 native of the Ukraine helped Russia to the silver medal in the 2002 Under-18 World Championships and recorded five goals and nine points in five games at the 2001 Five Nations Tournament. Zherdev added one assist in six games for Russia at the 2003 World Junior Championships.



 
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  dunwoody_joe
 
August 16, 2003 7:23:59 am
 
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This is a surprise, at least to me.

I did not expect Zherdev to be signed this early. It suggests that Columbus has seen enough of him to know that he can make the big club.

I doubt they would have signed him if they expected him in the minors, since he could have gone back to Russia for another year without any cost to CBJs.

MacLean has made some interesting off-season moves. He's playing the potential lockout differently than the other GMs.


 
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  Thrashtress
 
August 16, 2003 11:17:11 am
 
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quote:
dunwoody_joe said... It suggests that Columbus has seen enough of him to know that he can make the big club.

I doubt they would have signed him if they expected him in the minors, since he could have gone back to Russia for another year without any cost to CBJs.

I dunno, the Jackets haven't exhibited much regard for their bottom lint thus far, so I doubt the NA vs. Russia decision had to do with money. Maybe they'd rather have their coaches work on him than trust someone else.

I know you know this, dj, but for other people, keep in mind he's the only top four pick that CAN play in the minors at this age, since he's coming from the European leagues, not major junior.


 
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  Screamin Jen
 
August 16, 2003 11:50:17 am
 
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Here he is from the draft:


 
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  Dafoe Horsemen
 
August 16, 2003 12:01:58 pm
 
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Back in Russia with the Red Army team, he'd be playing under Viktor Tikhnov, probably the greatest Russian coach ever. I doubt he'd be better off in the AHL than he would be back home. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he had some sort of Rooskie Out Clause like Kovalchuk and Butsayev have.
 
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  Rasp
 
August 16, 2003 12:46:53 pm
 
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I'm with DH, if he isn't going to play in the NHL this year, Columbus just wasted a year (maybe 2) of his rookie contract.

However, his agent may have instigated this, hoping to get in a 3 year, incentive-laden contract before a possible strike/lockout. A bird in the hand and all that stuff.

 
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  ThrasherB
 
August 18, 2003 7:29:25 am
 
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Zherdev has skills, though, and I wouldn't be too surprised to see him playing in Columbus this season. He's going to play very well with Nash, and I'd bet the BJs are hoping that Nash-Zherdev looks and acts a lot like Heatley-Kovalchuk.
 
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  Thrashtress
 
August 18, 2003 3:31:26 pm
 
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Vancouver just signed their top pick in 2003 as well. He played college so he can go to the A as well:

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story.asp?ID=51004&hubName=nhl

 
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  Thrashtress
 
August 18, 2003 4:13:09 pm
 
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The Sharks signed their top pick Michalek out of the Czech Republic too. This must have something to do with the lockout, it's very weird for all these guys to sign so young.
 
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  decadent
 
August 18, 2003 4:15:43 pm
 
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Um, could they be putting in contract provisions that prevents their young kids from playing in their respective home countries if there is a lockout? Trying to keep them healthy and "untainted" by Euro hockey?
 
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  Thrashtress
 
August 18, 2003 4:19:41 pm
 
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Are the Canucks trying to keep Kesler untainted by Ohio State too?

Maybe they are afraid there won't be lights in the Buckeye arena.

 
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  decadent
 
August 18, 2003 4:25:26 pm
 
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BTW, Poor Cleveland. Back to normal.

I am just guessing on the contracts. Does seem odd-signing all the draft picks now.

 
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  Thrashtress
 
August 18, 2003 4:28:27 pm
 
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quote:
decadent said...
BTW, Poor Cleveland. Back to normal.

Yeah my folks live in that general area and my dad said he saw the lights dim a couple times early that afternoon, and my step mom said she remembers surges, she had something in the microwave and it got louder--she thought, now that's odd. But they only lost power for 2.5 hours--I think Pittsburgh picked them up.

 
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  clambake
 
August 18, 2003 5:40:34 pm
 
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Another effect from the earlier signings may very well be that by putting these extra couple signees on the 50-man early a team may be forced to drop someone off the bottom end that they were trying to get to pan out. That might make for some interesting bottom feeding just before the season starts.
 
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  kdm
 
August 18, 2003 5:58:46 pm
 
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I don't think that it's all that unusual for a few high round picks to sign as 18/19 year olds the same year they're drafted. A couple of the teams mentioned, Columbus and San Jose, have some needs on their rosters, so the draftees probably have legitimate shots at winning a spot in training camp. And if they don't, or play fewer than 10 NHL games, the teams don't lose a contract year.

As far as the signings being a hedge (or whatever) against a possible lockout, the teams have all of next offseason to do that. Why would they do it now if they don't expect the players to have a shot on the team, and so, waste whatever signing/reporting bonuses they'll be paying?

 
  [ PM kdm ]   Edited by kdm August 18, 2003 6:15:14 pm.
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  Thrashtress
 
August 18, 2003 6:34:24 pm
 
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quote:
kdm said...
... so the draftees probably have legitimate shots at winning a spot in training camp. And if they don't, or play fewer than 10 NHL games, the teams don't lose a contract year.

The 10 games wouldn't apply to these guys though, they're not major junior players. Two Euros and a college kid. They're going to lose a contract year unless they have a Euro-out clause.

 
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  kdm
 
August 18, 2003 6:42:34 pm
 
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quote:
Thrashtress said...
quote:
kdm said...
... so the draftees probably have legitimate shots at winning a spot in training camp. And if they don't, or play fewer than 10 NHL games, the teams don't lose a contract year.

The 10 games wouldn't apply to these guys though, they're not major junior players. Two Euros and a college kid. They're going to lose a contract year unless they have a Euro-out clause.

Nope. There's no distinction made between Euros, Collegiate players and Junior players in regards to extending entry level contracts.
quote:
(c) (i) In the event that an 18 year old or 19 year old
player signs a Player Contract with a Club but does not play at
least 10 NHL games (regular season and/or playoffs) in the first
season under that player's Player Contract, the term of his
Player Contract and his number of years in the Entry Level System
shall be extended for a period of one year, except that this
automatic extension will not apply to a player who is age 19
according to Section 9.2 by virtue of turning 20 between
September 16 and December 31 in the year in which he first signs
a Player Contract.
(ii) In the event that a player signs his first
contract at age 18 and has had his Player Contract extended
pursuant to Subsection (i), and such player does not play at
least 10 NHL games (regular season and/or playoffs) in the
second season under that player's Player Contract, then the term
of his Player Contract and his number of years in the Entry Level
System shall be extended for one additional year.

 
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  kdm
 
August 18, 2003 6:51:55 pm
 
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And I don't know what the NCAA rules are, but I'd guess that Kesler lost his eligibility to play at OSU as soon as he hired an agent... not to mention signed a professional contract.

Does anybody know for sure?

 
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  minotauro
 
August 18, 2003 9:44:26 pm
 
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quote:
kdm said...
And I don't know what the NCAA rules are, but I'd guess that Kesler lost his eligibility to play at OSU as soon as he hired an agent... not to mention signed a professional contract.

Does anybody know for sure?



Yep. Those two would definitely disqualify you. Hiring an agent disqualifies him from any NCAA sport. Signing a contract makes him ineligible on whatever sport he signed the contract for. (if you're a football player, like Drew Henson, and sign a baseball contract, you can still play NCAA football, just not baseball)

 
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  Dafoe Horsemen
 
August 19, 2003 8:48:01 am
 
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You're right on the first account too, kdm. The rule about ten games or more burning a year off your contract applies to any player, not just juniors.
 
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