Preseason report: Dmitry Orlov, Zakhar Arzamastsev
Metallurg Novokuznetsk spent part of its preseason in Switzerland, playing against a number of local team. Prospects Dmitry Orlov and 2011 eligible Zakhar Arzamastsev are playing an important role in the Siberian franchise, while Los Angeles Kings draftee Maxim Kitsyn will sit out for a month because of an elbow injury. The forward is currently in Germany as he needed to undergo a surgery.
Dmitry Orlov played a prominent role on Metallurg’s blueline, playing in the second defensive pair with Alexander Erofeev from Latvia. At the fourth minute Orlov attempted a long pass toward the opposite blue line, but it resulted on an icing call. Less than twenty seconds later an attempt from the blue line was wide out of the net. When the puck got back in the Metallurg’s zone, the Capitals prospect tried once again the long pass from the own zone, and this time it started off a good rush, even if the team couldn’t finish it.
Orlov was played on the first powerplay unit as the team can get much from his strong blue line slapshot. He is a constant threat for the opposition thanks to his excellent slapshot. In the second and third period he was one of the best players on ice even if he didn’t manage to write his name on the score sheet. He picked up a penalty at the start of the third period, but it was a bad whistle by the Swiss refs. At the 46th minute he drew a penalty in his team’s favor with a great rush, then a couple of minutes later he rattled the left post with a hard slapshot. He played no PK time, but with Metallurg up by one goal and a penalty against in the last minute of play, head coach Parkhomenko decided to ice the Orlov – Erofeev pair.
Orlov showed some good improvement over last season. He plays with more confidence and with more poise. With that being said, he needs to work over his physical play, but he did bulk up and even if he isn’t very tall he has a good frame. He is also pretty vocal on ice, but he needs to work on his English to show the same in North America. He likes to play during powerplay stretches. He brings up the puck with his good puckhandling and isn’t scared to use his hard, low slapshot, even if he still needs to work a bit on its accuracy. Orlov is ready to cross the pond and another year of progress in Russia will certainly help him.
Zakhar Arzamastsev is a 2011 eligible defenseman who played during the preseason on Metallurg Novokuznetsk’s first line. This is definitely not usual in Russia, but the Siberian team managed to produce a number of very good players, like Orlov, Kitsyn,Ivan Telegin, Sergei Bobrovsky (Flyers) and so on.
Arzamastsev is a rather good skater even if he’s not a speedster. He showed good offensive instincts, but he tends to play on a very simple game and in this aspect he might be compared to Nikita Zaitsev, another junior player who struggles in playing with his creativity. With that being said he displayed good reading of the ice in both offensive and defensive situations. He needs to work over various aspects of his game – his shot, physical play and strength, mainly. Like many Russian junior defensemen often he pokechecks rather than throwing the body around, but this is something that will be easy to fix once he’ll be more adjusted to the pro game. He’s definitely NHL material and he has some chances to get a WJC spot in spite of his young age.