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Avalanche season grades: Vladislav Kamenev

AJ Haefele Avatar
June 4, 2018

Vladislav Kamenev was acquired from the Nashville Predators in the Matt Duchene Heist.

Overview

When the Avalanche made the Matt Duchene megadeal, defenseman Sam Girard was viewed as the centerpiece because of Colorado’s long insistence on receiving a defenseman in return. Coming with Girard from Nashville was forward Vladislav Kamenev, who had produced two quality AHL seasons to that point and likely would have made the Nashville roster out of training camp had it not been full of quality NHLers already.

Coming off an impressive 51-point season for the Milwaukee Admirals, Kamenev was simply blocked in Nashville and when he was sent to Colorado, they committed to playing him in the NHL after a brief stint in San Antonio and giving him an extended look.

Unfortunately, it was a disaster for Kamenev as he was just minutes into his first game as an Av when Brooks Orpik blew him up at center ice and Kamenev fractured his arm. It turned out to be a significant break as he did not return to the lineup until March 18. He played in just two games after returning from injury but the coaching staff couldn’t send him down to the AHL because they had used all of their post-deadline transactions and they were involved in the playoff race to the point where trying to work a new player into the lineup was more detrimental than beneficial.

It was a series of unfortunate events since Kamenev arrived in Colorado but the team is certainly going to give him a long look next season and he should figure into the team’s plans as they continue to sift through their myriad of natural centers to figure out which ones are going to stick.

Biggest Moment

This one is sad to do but really just coming back from injury and getting into the lineup at all was kind of it for him. He wasn’t involved in anything particularly notable beyond his injury and making that his biggest moment seems kind of cruel.

What’s Next

Kamenev will get a fresh start in training camp as he seeks to make the opening night roster and carve out a full-time NHL job. With just MacKinnon and Soderberg locked in at center, there’s plenty of opportunities for him to figure it out. He’s an intriguing two-way player who has good playmaking ability. Hopefully, Kamenev gets a chance to show that off next season as he competes for one of the open spots. He will be a player we keep a close eye on throughout the year.

Final Grade

INC.

Is it really fair to grade a player who played three games and made basically zero contributions in very limited ice time? At least with Hammond and Grimaldi last week they had some sort of contributions despite not appearing in very many games. Kamenev’s season was the true definition of a lost year. I’m not comfortable giving him a grade based on the two and a half games he played.

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