Russian talent attracted by the NHL due to a debt of 30 million Casinos and bets ruined the corresponding
Nikita Filatov scored in his NHL debut and scored a hat-trick in the sixth. However, due to the wrong decisions, they returned to Russia and could not gain a foothold even in the KHL.
Recently, the sports portal Hockey Writers published the top 5 worst draft picks in Columbus history. The list also included Russian forward Nikita Filatov, who first wore a Blue Jackets jersey in 2008.
For Columbus fans, the lowercase letters dedicated to the Russian are especially painful, because Filatov is considered one of the most promising hockey players in the world. The striker even made a perfect appearance in the NHL – an abandoned puck in his debut game and a hat-trick in the sixth.
However, due to problems with the coach and a debt of 30 million rubles, the striker played only 56 matches in the North American league and returned to Russia.
New talent from Russia
North American steel scouts follow the player of the capital CSKA Filatov, when he was barely 16 years old. The sports ring forum is no exception to the list of the best scorers of the Moscow Open Championship and the vast majority of the most gifted hockey players of the generation. Filatov’s performance did not disappear at international tournaments either: at the triumphant Russian national team, the JuChM-2007 became the team’s top scorer. At the same time, none of the specialists had any doubts that the forward would stand out not only at the junior level. And Filatov beautifully confirmed this – according to the results of the MFM-2008, the Russian became the second scorer of the tournament.
In the eyes of scouts and club managers of Russians, the NHL was a hockey player who tears apart his peers in his country and clearly represents himself at international congresses. The combination of these factors ensured that you take Filatov in the first round in the upcoming draft in Ottawa.
Project-2008 divided by the fact that a large number of talented defenders were presented. And promising forwards were Filatov and Stephen Stamkos. The Canadian was considered the undisputed number one, so it’s predictable that most players took the risk to try on the Tampa jersey. And then four times in a row the clubs chose defenders. And when it came to the sixth pick, everyone was surprised that Columbus had drafted Filatov. Everyone remembered how five years ago the Blue Jackets chose another Russian – Nikolai Zherdev, they very much regretted their decision. However, Columbus could not pass by Filatov’s great talent.
Moreover, the striker won over not only with his outstanding game, but also with professional rejection. The Russian knew English well, and for the draft he specially began to study French – an unexpected period of travel to Montreal.
After the project, the striker was first sent to the AHL farm club, where Filatov presented himself well and received an invitation to the team a week later. Typically, coaches bring young players into the realities of the big leagues and don’t expect much from rookies. Filatov did not need to get used to North American hockey – already in his debut match he scored the puck. And in the sixth game, the 18-year-old forward scored a hat-trick in playing time in just 10 minutes.
A bright start pleased the fans of the Blue Jackets, the club bosses began to think that they had robbed the league, because they took such a talent already under the sixth number.
For the progressive development of Filatov, Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock unexpectedly brought him to the AHL, where the forward spent the rest of the season. The coach expected that the hockey player in the farm club would “get meat” and it would become easier for him to fight for the puck. But now the season has ended, the vacation has passed, but the Russian has not changed.
“He had the body of a boy when he came from Russia and it never got much stronger. He did not show enough determination to become an NHL player,” Hitchcock said.
The coach had approval for Filatov not only because of his form, but also because of his style of play. The forward liked to beat, score goals and celebrate goals. Hitchcock believes that the Russians perceive the game as an art form, and in defense they should work out “blue collars”. This position annoys the coach, because he has built a team that should play perfectly on any half of the court.
“When he was a junior player, he was much more experienced than anyone else on the ice. He could do whatever he wanted. But when you get into the NHL, you get left behind because of your work ethic. This was often disputed by Nikki. And, frankly, that was his whole professional affiliation, – complained Hitchcock.
Eternal disputes with the coach drew attention to the fact that Filatov played only 13 games for Columbus. And the forward’s playing time did not even reach 10 minutes. Then Hitchcock again decided to send the Russian to the farm club, but the young talent was sent away from this business trip. And the Blue Jackets loaned him to CSKA Moscow for the rest of the season. discovered, this is a great chance to find yourself in the KHL, and then come back and declare yourself in the NHL for real. However, Filatov chose a different way of explaining his wealth to Hitchcock.
The hockey player told public reporters that there are two clubs in the KHL, including CSKA, that will beat the Blue Jackets. The lack of progress and criticism in the direction of his own happened as a result of the fact that the forward subsequently played only 23 matches and was soon exchanged to Ottawa. At the new place, Filatov also did not play. A loose lifestyle intervened. As Nikita admitted, he spent a lot of money on casinos, bets and parties. In the end, this happened to the fact that he had a debt of 30 million rubles. He was not allowed to the base of the Ottawa, and in the AHL it was not possible to earn normally. Therefore, the forward returned to the KHL, he was offered a good contract. He spent seven seasons in the domestic league and during this time the football club changed.
After a while, Filatov remembered Hitchcock and spoke only good things about the specialist. The forward admitted that he was wrong when he argued with the coach, and he really needed to work on himself more. Unfortunately, this realization came too late, and in Russian hockey he lost another truly powerful talent.