ДРАФТ 2009 ГОДА
 Куликов
27 июня 2009 года. 
Florida picks Russian teen // South Florida Sun-Sentinel 

Defenseman soon could see chance to play for Panthers
By Steve Gorten 

Montreal - After much discussion and consideration, the Panthers ended up not making a move with defenseman Jay Bouwmeester at the NHL draft Friday night. Or with their first-round pick.

Deciding against moving up or down, the Panthers chose 18-year-old Russian defenseman Dmitry Kulikov with the 14th overall pick. 

The 6-foot-1, 183-pound Kulikov was named the rookie of the year and best professional prospect of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season after posting 12 goals and 50 assists in 57 games for league champion Drummondville. He is known an offensive-minded blue-liner who projects as a power-play quarterback.

Kulikov said his goal is to play for the Panthers, who are about to lost their top defenseman in Bouwmeester, next season. Scott Luce, the Panthers' director of amateur scouting, said that's possible. If not, he'll spend a second season in Quebec. 

"I think [coach Pete] DeBoer is going to be pleasantly surprised with what we have in the package for him in training camp," Luce said of Kulikov after his selection. "He's not necessarily going to make the team, but he's going to challenge for a spot." 

He'll have to battle several promising prospects, including the Panthers' top pick (10th overall) in the 2007 draft, Keaton Ellerby, as well as Jason Garrison, who played well in AHL Rochester last season. But Kulikov said he doesn't mind the competition.

"To make an NHL team you have to be better than someone else," he said. 

Because there's no transfer agreement between the NHL and Russia, teams have sometimes been hesitant to draft Russians.

However, Luce said the Panthers did "extensive due diligence" in that regard, talking both with Kulikov's coaches in Drummondville and their scouts in Russia. 

Kulikov, whose family expects to move to North America sometime soon, described his selection by the Panthers as "an unbelievable feeling."

"They've been pretty interested in the past two months," he said. "I hoped before the draft the Panthers would draft me. ... I just didn't know if I'd stay until the 14th pick or they'd move up."

The Panthers chose to stay pat. Assistant general manager Randy Sexton said about an hour before the draft one team picking ahead of the Panthers was still interested in trading down while as many as four teams below them wanted to move up.

Friday started with four teams hot after Bouwmeester, though one of those teams, Philadelphia, dropped out of contention after trading for Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger.

"A lot of guys I've talked to are not interested in moving their first-round pick," Sexton said before the draft. 

Sexton said he hadn't spoken to Bouwmeester's agent, Bryon Baltimore in about a week. At that time, Sexton said, Baltimore gave him a list of teams Bouwmeester, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent Wednesday, was interested in signing with long term.

"They gave us a very clear picture what his criteria were. A couple of teams on that list met the criteria before, but wouldn't meet it now," Sexton said. "From our perspective, if we end up doing something it would make sense to move him to a team we think he would like to go to."

ЛИНКИ
Пресса:

Дмитрий Куликов: "Видеть меня во "Флориде" больше всех хотела сестра" // "Спорт-Экспресс"

Дмитрий Орлов: "Отказал Руа, но теперь хочу играть с Овечкиным" // "Спорт-Экспресс"

Русский фактор // "Спорт-Экспресс"

Florida picks Russian teen // South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Сергей Андронов: «Играть в фарм-клубе не буду» // "Волжская Коммуна"

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