Evgeni Dadonov was drafted in the 3rd round (71st overall) of the 2007 draft by the Florida Panthers and has been a player that a few people have kept an eye on as a future star.
Dadonov was one player I continued to miss while at the Teen Ranch at the Panthers Development Camp so unfortunately I did not have the chance to talk to him.
As a player what I saw was someone who always knew where the puck was and where he needed to be in order to make the play. That’s a general statement that should cover any professional hockey player but is not always the case.
During a drill where players went one on one battling for a puck Dadonov was grouped with Michael Frolik, Shawn Matthias, Kenndal McArdle, and Michal Repik. The group of players with the highest expectations.
This was my second year watching camp at the Teen Ranch and for the second year being able to watch Dadonov develop more as player was interesting. My first reaction was that he did not seem to be the star player that some fans and other web sites have hyped him up to be, but after watching him for a while he was showing more potential.
He reminds me of Marek Zagrapan, former Amerk and Buffalo Sabres prospect. A potential 20 goal scorer in the minors but did not have anything to his play that would make him be noticed to get a full time job in the NHL.
With the 20yr old signing a 2yr deal in Russia instead of choosing to come to North America and play in the AHL it probably means it’s the NHL or nothing for Dadonov. Zagrapan also signed a deal recently to play in the KHL in Russia.
UPDATE TO THE ABOVE: Dadonov signed an entry level contract with the Florida Panthers which has stirred up a dispute between the KHL about the status of the deal. Read More Here. At the time of writing this article it was assumed that since it was reported that Dadonov signed a two year deal with Traktor that he had no plans of coming to North America, which as it turns out was wrong.
Looking at his statistics from last season he played in 40 games and only had 11 goals and four assists, stats that are not all that impressive.
UPDATE TO THE ABOVE: I’ve since learned that the Russian league is not known for high scoring games. The numbers that Dadonov has put up are rather respectable.
The odds are against the 20 year old Russian born player drafted in the 3rd round, but he’s still young and has a lot of room to grow and become a stronger player. He needs to become faster if he wants to stick out as a smaller player.
He’d be a welcome addition in Rochester, there’s still help needed for more wingers.
UPDATE TO THE ABOVE: As mentioned above and on a newer article on this site, Dadonov is expected to be in Rochester to play for the Amerks during the 2009/2010 season.