The scoop per Yahoo! Canada contributor Andrey Osadchenko:
Those familair with Andrey know his work is legit, no reason to doubt this.
The Senators don't have any permanent Russian scouting presence, so this would appear a tip off from a recently returned Sergei Gonchar. Further to that initial point, in Murray's tenure as GM zero players have been selected out of Russia, a span that includes passing on some supreme talent in the first-round...*cough* Tarasenko *cough*. Hell, in 41 selections the Murrary regime has never even taken a player out of a European league that wasn't based in Sweden.
All that said, I think it's positive to see the organization widening their scope a little, I can understand not wanting to get burned in the draft (Ottawa does have some unfortunate history with Russians taken outside the top-30), so signing a free agent instead seems a smart low-risk move.
So what do we know about Viktor Antipin?
1. Born December 6, 1992 in Oskeman, Kazakhstan.
2. Went undrafted in 2011 and 2012, but played on the Russian WJC team last year in Alberta
3. He's small. Listed at 5'10 and variously between 152-165lbs.
4. He shoots left.
5. He's currently 10th in scoring among KHL defenceman with 10G, 20PTS in 40GP, which on the surface seems impressive at 20.
6. His first KHL goal (and only Youtube highlight!) has him parked right in front of the net on the powerplay, like many a miniscule d-man.
And Stefan provides this note:
Re: #Sens reported interest in D-man Antipin. He's a star defenceman for his KHL team, can't sign until next season unless club allows him.— Stefan G:son (@steffeG) January 22, 2013
If anyone out there has a decent scouting report on this kid please don't hesitate to drop by in the comments.
If we got Tarasenko there would have been no Rundblad, and without Rundblad there would be no Turris. A whack of teams passed on him before the Blues took a chance.
@slavitch One of stories I was following this year: Turris or Tarasenko? Early returns have me thinking VT has better dangle and shot. Both look like great skaters. Perhaps Turris' stock has a bit of a premium if he becomes a top 6 center. Will have to look up fancy statistics after 20 games to get more complete answer.
His projection varies depending on who you talk to from a role player to a star. He has good hockey skills and overall awareness. Watching smaller defensemen like Karlsson and Spurgeon carve out niches in a faster new NHL has challenged talent evaluators to look hard at players like Antipin. And it can't hurt to know Antipin can quarterback a regiment that includes Gonchar and Malkin in a man's league.
Never heard of the guy before this post, but my post doesn't strike me as different from much of the crap I read online.
If Gonch delivered the goods on this guy I'll personally smack the next guy that boos him with a dead fish, Russian style.
@slavitch Shouldn't Gonchar have tipped off Ray Shero and the Pens?
@Nichols6thSens Can they talk? Do they talk? Even if they were on good terms he'd leave that to Malkin. In any event I'm not sure if Shero would pursue a short Russian defenseman. Only one of his 35 draft picks for the Pens are established as regulars in the NHL.