Friday, July 22, 2011

Rangers Prospect Mikhail Pashin Leaving KHL For North America This Year

According to Laurie Carr at Beyond the Blueshirts, Rangers Prospect Mikhail Pashnin has passed up a contract to stay in the KHL in order to come over to North America this year in hopes of eventually playing in the NHL.  
“Pashnin’s contract with CSKA has ended.  We offered him a new [contract] but he has decided to try to make the NHL. He has an offer from the New York Rangers and is currently negotiating with them,” Nemchinov told RIA Novosti.
“We were glad to have him on our team, but he has made his choice in favor of the NHL club.”
Pashnin was the Rangers 2009 7th round selection and has spent the two seasons since he was drafted playing in the KHL.  Each of the last two years he has made an impression on the coaching staff during Development Camp with his physical play.  While he is only 5-11, 190 lbs, he loves to throw his body around and be an intimidating presence.  The only issue with a player who loves to hit is when they become too focused on hitting and take themselves out of the play which came out in some of the reports from this last month's prospect camp.   

He is another stay at home defender with limited offensive upside, but if they can focus his desire to use his body, then he could definitely be a threat to make the NHL down the line.  He has little to no chance of making the team this year, but adding Pashnin to the Connecticut Whale gives the Rangers yet another excellent defensive prospect growing in the AHL.  Having played against men in the KHL and the fact that he is said to play a North American style with how much he likes to hit should certainly help him with the adjustment to the AHL this season. The combination of Pashnin, Valentenko and Kundratek gives the Whale an excellent young foundation on defense who will all be motivated to make themselves the next in line for a shot at the NHL.