You read that right, good lottery watchers.
Mock drafters-- continue to put the enigmatic Russian into Boston's 2nd-round slot(s) at your own peril.
There are simply too many red flags with Kirill Kabanov, and I just heard again this weekend from someone well-connected that the Bruins have made a conscious effort to steer clear of players from Russia in recent drafts (oh-fer since 2006 when they picked Yuri Alexandrov in the second). So, to think that they would somehow make an exception to their philosophy for someone who's as much of a loose cannon as Kabanov appears to be is a real stretch here.
As of now, I'm finished with dedicating any more space on this blog to Kabanov and speculating as to whether he's worth a gamble (read: throwing away) of one of Boston's early picks.
The Bruins aren't drafting him in the first round. They're not taking him in the second. I'm pretty sure that they wouldn't take him in the seventh, even. Someone's going to pick him up, of course. And when that someone does, they'll be lauded up and down by a lot of folks for their courage, how great a value selection Kabanov was and the immense potential he provides to that team.
However, I just go back to another "can't-miss" talent with issues who dropped at the draft and then was a bust for the team (Edmonton) who picked him up with the second of two first-round picks in 2004-- Rob Schremp. So, until Kabanov actually proves himself in the NHL, it's only going to be talk about how much better the team that drafts him just got. It takes a lot more than just talent to succeed in the NHL; he's actually going to need to mature, sign, stay healthy and then happy where he is for it all to work out. Maybe he succeeds, and becomes an NHL star one day, but I wouldn't bet a top-60 pick on it.
That's just me.
You may disagree and believe in your heart of hearts that he's a great option for Boston. I'd just point out that life isn't a videogame. And when teams have millions invested in their rosters, they're not taking these decisions and the potential ramifications they have on team chemistry and potential headaches (self-inflicted) for the GM if they draft a player who is as high-maintenance as Kabanov is.
I'll make a deal with those of you in the pro-Kabanov camp, though. If it somehow comes to pass, I'll eat my hat at the draft. But, I feel secure in making that wager. So, if you want to speculate about Kabanov in Beantown, there are plenty of places to do that on the worldwide web...it's just that this place isn't one of them. I wish him well and for his sake, I hope he can grab control of his life and hockey career and start making better decisions going forward.
So, I'm done talking about Kabanov and will devote my energies on some analysis on players who actually have a real chance to be taken by Boston in June.
As always, thanks for reading and I look forward to bringing you more insights on the players and goings on as we get ever closer to the big event next month.