Hawks score Russian NHL Prospect in Import Draft
June 26, 2008
Portland, Ore. - The Portland Winter Hawks selected 18-year old Right Wing, Maksim Trunev, from Kirovo-Chepetsk, Russia with the third overall selection in today's Canadian Hockey League Import Draft.
This marks the second time Trunev has been taken in a hockey draft in less than a week as he was the 5th round (138th overall) selection by the Montreal Canadiens in Saturday's National Hockey League Entry Draft.
Trunev was the youngest European player chosen in the NHL draft. Had he been born a few weeks later, he would have been eligible for the 2009 draft where some speculated that he would have been a second round choice.
At 5'-11", 174lb, Trunev is an explosive skater and creative puck handler who is expected to add an instant scoring touch to the Hawks.
Winter Hawks Head Coach, Rich Kromm, has worked with Trunev the past two summers at the Okanagan Hockey School in Penticton, BC and has seen his skills firsthand.
"He is very dynamic and gifted offensively," said Kromm. "His maturity will allow him to be an immediate impact player by adding a scoring punch to our line-up."
Trunev has proven to be a scoring machine during his hockey career. He recorded five goals and five assists for ten points and was named to the "All-Star" list during his team's seven-game championship run at the prestigious Mac's AAA Midget Tournament in December.
Trunev reportedly averaged two points per game this past season while playing for Cherepovets Severstal.
When it comes to selecting prospects in the Import Draft, talent can sometimes take a back seat to a player's willingness to leave home and play in North America as a teenager. The Winter Hawks think they have player that rates high in both categories.
"Like many of the top Russian players, he has great skill but, his creative abilities set him apart," said Kromm. "Plus, he has shown great interest in playing in our league during his time at the Okanagan camps."
Winter Hawks Director of Player Personnel, Matt Bardsley, likes how Trunev will fit into the current team.
"He is an 18-year old and could potentially play with us for three years. We feel that his scoring presence will not only add points to our roster but, make the other players around him better."
Kromm agrees with Bardsley's assesment.
"His age will allow him to be a big part of our rebuilding process," Kromm said.