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TWO COUNTRYMEN, ONE GOAL

Kirill Petrov and Kirill Kabanov talk to NewYorkIslanders.com about taking on the NHL

Friday, 07.09.2010 / 9:26 AM / News
By Alex Silverman
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TWO COUNTRYMEN, ONE GOAL

Islanders’ draft picks Kirill Petrov and Kirill Kabanov have a lot more in common than just a first name.  Both were born and raised in Russia, both were  considered among the most skilled players in their respective draft classes, and now both want to prove that they’re ready to play in the NHL. 

At this week’s Mini Camp, the two have been virtually inseparable.  On the ice, the two have shown chemistry, playing on the same line alongside first-round pick Brock Nelson.  Kabanov has also acted as Petrov’s translator, taking in Head Coach Scott Gordon’s instructions and relaying them to his teammate in Russian.  Off the ice, the two have bonded over their common backgrounds and common goals.  For both players, Mini Camp represents a first chance to show the coaching staff what they bring to the table.

“We’re really excited and we’re trying to show our best game together,” Petrov said through his teammate and translator.

Petrov, who has spent the last two seasons playing in Russia’s KHL, hopes that he can begin his NHL career this upcoming season.  While the decision ultimately lies with the Islanders, Kabanov believes that his Mini Camp linemate has what it takes.

“[Petrov] is really good. He’s fast, skilled, and he’s a really great player,” Kabanov said.  “I think he will be a star in the NHL soon.”

Scott Gordon also had a great deal of praise for Petrov, whose size and strength impressed the Head Coach.

“I think with Petrov, his strength is probably second to none on the ice,” Gordon said. “He skates well, he protects pucks well, and he's strong on his feet.  He's had the opportunity to play against pros over in Russia and it shows.”

Gordon was also impressed by Petrov’s demeanor and how well he has been able to overcome his inability to speak English. 

“I find him to be very professional about how he practices and very attentive for a guy that speaks limited English,” Gordon said.  “He follows the drills, he understands what's going on the ice and what should be a huge disadvantage for him, hasn't been out there so far.”

Kabanov also has the NHL in his plans for the near future.  He spent last season in the QMJHL with the Moncton Wildcats, where he tallied 23 points (10 goals, 13 assists) in just 22 games.  As a 2010 draft pick, Kabanov could return to Moncton for another season, but hopes that he can make a good enough impression to stay on Long Island. 

“I just want to show the coaches my game and I will work hard to make the NHL as soon as I can,” Kabanov said.

While Kabanov’s skill level speaks for itself, Gordon acknowledged that his size might be a limiting factor in how quickly he can make the leap to the NHL.

“[Kabanov] has been playing junior hockey,” Gordon said.  “He hasn't filled out like Petrov has, but that will improve as he gets older.”

Though both Petrov and Kabanov will have to wait at least a few months to make their NHL debuts, the two will play in front of Islanders fans on Nassau Coliseum ice for the first time this Saturday as part of the Orange vs. Blue Scrimmage and Skills Competition.  Kabanov is excited about the chance to scrimmage the other prospects.

“It’s kind of fun actually because it’s the first game and that all the prospects for Islanders are there,” Kabanov said.  “We will just have fun and work hard.”
 

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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
J. Tavares 46 21 24 -2 45
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 46 8 25 16 33
B. Nelson 46 15 15 6 30
F. Nielsen 46 9 16 4 25
J. Boychuk 36 4 18 15 22
J. Bailey 34 8 13 8 21
N. Leddy 46 7 14 15 21
N. Kulemin 46 11 9 1 20
A. Lee 40 13 5 7 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 25 9 0 .910 2.41
C. Johnson 6 5 0 .870 3.38

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