This post is part of Predators Day on PHT…
There are not many, if any, holes to fill on Nashville’s roster. But in the event of an injury to a forward, don’t be surprised if Vladislav Kamenev gets the first call-up this season.
Kamenev, who turns 21 Saturday, was a second-round draft pick in 2014, and he’s coming off another fine year in the AHL. In 70 games for the Milwaukee Admirals, he had 21 goals and 30 assists.
“He’s a big, strong centerman that you can use in all situations,” said Jeff Kealty, the Preds’ chief amateur scout, per NHL.com. “He’s got really good offensive abilities. He plays on the power play. He’s got a really good shot. He’s also going to kill penalties. He can be responsible in his own zone. So he’s really the complete centerman with size that you’re always looking for.”
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Kamenev had hoped to make the leap last season, and he did make his NHL debut in January. Ultimately, though, he only played two games for the Preds, failing to register a point in limited ice time.
“I was told the usual words that they will follow me, so that I continue to work,” he told Russian newspaper Sport-Express about being sent back to Milwaukee. “But to be honest, I’m very glad that I still made my debut in the NHL. I realized that I can play at this level.”
Expect Kamenev to be a motivated player at training camp. Even if he’s sent back to the AHL, he’ll want to show the coaching staff that he’s a worthy call-up.
At his age, and after two years developing in the minors, it’s time to take the next step.