A couple of Russian forwards have impressed the Preds’ brass at Nashville’s development camp.
The club announced the signing of Vladislav Kamenev and Yakov Trenin to three-year, entry-level contracts on Friday.
Kamenev spent the 2014-15 season with Magnitogorsk in the KHL scoring six goals and nine points in 41 games. The 6-foot-3, 182-pound native of Orsk, Russia added three assists at the 2015 world juniors helping the Russians win a silver medal.
Originally Nashville’s second-round pick (42nd overall) at the 2014 NHL Draft, Kamenev is expected to spend the 2015-16 season playing in North America. The Quebec Remparts own the 18-year-old’s CHL rights.
Trenin (pictured) was the Preds’ second-round pick (55th overall) at last month’s draft. The 18-year-old appeared in 58 games with the Gatineau Olympiques of the QMJHL last season scoring 18 goals and 67 points.
“He’s a big center, who plays a solid two-way game,” Preds’ North American amateur scout J-P Glaude said in a statement. “Despite coming from Russia as a 17-year-old who didn’t speak a word of English, he averaged more than a point per game and was fantastic defensively, especially in the playoffs when he was used on the power play, killing penalties, five-on-three and three-on-five.
“I see him as a complete, top-two center that can put points on the board and the coaches will love to have because he can play in any situation.”
The 6-1, 194-pound native of Chelyabinsk, Russia will likely head back to Gatineau for the 2015-16 season.
The Buffalo Sabres rounded out Dan Bylsma’s coaching staff on Friday, hiring former Chicago Blackhawks goalie development boss Andrew Allen as their new goalie coach.
Allen, 38, replaces the outgoing Arturs Irbe.
A former AHL and ECHL netminder, Allen was with Chicago for the last four seasons, spending the majority of his time tutoring netminders with the club’s AHL affiliate in Rockford. During Allen’s tenure, a number of solid backups rose through the ranks: Carter Hutton (now Pekka Rinne’s No. 2 in Nashville), Antti Raanta (now Henrik Lundqvist’s backup in New York) and Scott Darling (now Corey Crawford’s backup in Chicago).
In Buffalo, Allen will work with newly-acquired starter Robin Lenher and No. 2 Chad Johnson, acquired at last season’s trade deadline.
With this hire, Bylsma’s staff is now complete — Allen will join assistant coaches Terry Murray, Dave Barr and Dan Lambert on the Sabres’ bench.
Cody Hodgson is hoping to have the kind of bounce back season Mike Ribeiro enjoyed in 2014-15.
The 25-year-old is on a similar path that Ribeiro followed last summer.
Ribeiro was bought out by the Arizona Coyotes and given a second opportunity by Preds’ GM David Poile.
Hodgson, who was bought out by the Buffalo Sabres last week, signed a similar one-year, $1.05 million deal with Nashville on July 1.
“Hopefully, I can do what he did. It’s a new opportunity for me like it was for him,” Hodgson told The Tennessean. “Hopefully, I can make the most of it like (Ribeiro) did.”
Hodgson scored a career-low six goals and 13 points in 78 games with the Sabres last season. It was just the second year of his six-year, $25.5 million deal.
“It was a rough year all the way around, on the ice, off the ice, everything could go wrong went wrong,” Hodgson said. “It was a disaster of a season by all accounts.”
In 218 games with the Sabres, over parts of four seasons, Hodgson registered 44 goals, 99 points and a minus-65 rating while averaging 16:13 in ice time.