Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Jaškin: "I want to go to Canada"

Less than an hour after being drafted by the Moncton Wildcats in the Canadian Hockey League's Import Draft, hokej.cz's Vaclav Jachim is reporting that Slavia Praha's Dmitrij Jaškin has decided to play there next year.

"I've arranged with Slavia to leave. I want to go to Canada," the report says. "I've thought a lot about it. If I play in the CHL, I have a chance to get from there to the NHL. And that's my goal."

His attitude was different a year ago.

"Playing in the Czech professional league is better," is what the hulking winger told me last April at the U18 World Championship in Dresden, Germany. 

And why not? A year ago, Jaškin was coming off an impressive rookie season in the Czech Extraliga, one which led to his second-round selection by the St. Louis Blues in the NHL Entry Draft. At that time, Jaškin seemingly had no interest in jumping to the CHL as he prepared for his sophomore pro season.

However, the disastrous season to follow has apparently changed his mind. After registering only 1 goal and 1 assist in 30 Extraliga games, the snake-bitten 18-year-old was sent back to junior. He seemingly got some of his confidence back at lower levels, registering 17 points in 10 Junior Extraliga games, which led to a loan to Beroun of the First League, where he tallied 8 points in 10 games. Upon returning to Slavia in the play-out round, he recorded a more respectable 4 points in seven games.

A player built in the power-forward mold, Jaškin seems to thrive when the game gets physical, and therefore it was speculated that a move to the more physical CHL might be a good move for him, and he apparently agrees. The only sticking point could have been if Slavia had refused to let him go. However, despite the fact that coach and general manager Vladimír Růžička does not seem to agree with Jaškin's decision, he's not going to stand in his way.

"We've had repeated talks with his agent, Aleš Volek, and I've spoken a lot with Dima and his father (former pro Russian defenceman Alexei Yashkin)," said the man known as "Rosy" in his NHL career. "At first, Lexa Yashkin said it would be better if the boy stayed, but later, that he should leave. Of course, it brings me no joy, but we decided to work with the family and not stand in the way of what he wants."

"I knew that Vladimír Růzička would not be happy with this," said Jaškin, "but I hope this change will get me to where I want to be."

All told, 20 Czechs were taken in Wednesday's draft, although one of them, Planá-born Dominik Kohun, now lives in Germany, whom he represents internationally. Additionally, two other players, Slovak Martin Reway and Slovene Jurij Repe, were drafted from Czech clubs.

  4. Martin Reway (SVK)   LW Sparta          Gatineau
 10. Jan Košťálek         D  Sparta          Rimouski
 14. Patrik Polívka       G  Plzeň           Victoria
 22. Dmitrij Jaškin       RW Slavia          Moncton
 23. Jan Bittner          D  Litvínov        Red Deer
 27. Dominik Kubalík      LW Plzeň           Belleville
 28. Patrik Zdráhal       LW Vítkovice       Acadie-Bathurst
 29. Petr Veselý          LW PZ Kladno       Kootenay
 34. Jurij Repe (SLO)     D  Třinec          Saint John
 35. Richard Nejezchleb   RW Slavia          Brandon
 39. Dominik Kohun        LW Heilbronn (GER) Sudbury
 41. Mikuláš Rimmel       RW Vítkovice       Spokane
 44. Aleš Kilnar          LW Vítkovice       Vancouver
 47. Marek Langhamer      G  Pardubice       Medicine Hat
 51. Ladislav Zikmund     RW K. Vary         Ottawa
 52. Jakub Ižacký         LW Třinec          Saint John
 56. Ondřej Kopta         LW Texas (NAHL)    Niagara
 59. Jakub Procházka      LW Litvínov        Kootenay
 64. Adam Zbořil          LW Kometa          Acadie-Bathurst
 71. Eustathio Soumelidis C  Vaasa (FIN)     Everett 
 96. David Němeček        D  Plzeň           Sarnia
116. David Sysala         C  Vítkovice       Niagara

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