In my earlier post lamenting the struggles of Tuomo Ruutu that led to his departure, I almost neglected to mention the player the Hurricanes got in return from the Devils. That player being forward Andrei Loktionov. The Hurricanes lineup (namely the bottom-six) has been devoid of skill for most of the year and Loktionov should help out here, as he brings plenty of that to the table. He is a 23-year-old center who is very shifty & creative with the puck and was a adept scorer in both the OHL and the AHL. Unfortunately, like many skilled forward prospects he hasn't been able to translate this into NHL success.
The Hurricanes will be Loktionov's third team in the last three years and he has only 38 points in 135 games. He was drafted in the fifth round by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2008 and after being unable to earn a full-time role there, he was traded to the New Jersey Devils last season. He had some early success there with 11 points in 18 games, but had only one point the rest of the year and has only 12 in 48 games this year.
So, what we have here is a skilled, young player who is still looking to find his place in the NHL. There's a lot of guys like him, but what has kept Loktionov from earning a full-time role?He was only 20 years old when he was with the Kings and it's hard to get ice time there as a center with Koptiar, Richards & Stoll on the team.
The Devils gave him an opportunity and he seemed to do well with those minutes for awhile but faded and fell out of their plans this year. Him being able to stick with the Hurricanes will probably depend on what he can do when he isn't scoring. The team's bottom-six basically a mishmash of players who couldn't fit anywhere else (namely the third line) so he'll likely get plenty of chances, but what exactly are the Hurricanes getting with Loktionov and what kind of role is he best suited for?no comments