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The Daily: Red Wings Yzerman Doesn’t Think NHL Teams Will Avoid Russians; Will Bruins Pursue Ekman-Larsson?

Detroit selected Dmitry Buchelnikov in second round of 2022 NHL entry draft

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Steve Yzerman, Detroit Red Wings GM
Red Wings GM Stever Yzerman doesn't think NHL teams will avoid the selection of Russian players in the NHL entry draft.

There’s been plenty of speculation about the potential for Russian players to slide in the NHL entry draft but Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman doesn’t foresee that happening. With the current political situation involving Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it’s hard for NHL teams to get up close looks at Russian prospects.

“The only challenge has been and the only concern is the ability to really see the kids,” Yzerman said. “There’s probably not a team in the NHL who has their head of their amateur (scouting) department who actually lives in Russia that is your key decision maker, so if they’re not seeing them as much, they’re gonna be a little hesitant to make that pick, particularly high. But as you go through the draft, guys are gonna take the best player.”

And if that player is Russian, so be it.

“I don’t talk to a lot of general managers and ask them, ‘hey what are you planning to do in the draft regarding Russian players?’ because they’re not really gonna share what their plans are,” Yzerman said. “The guy that tells you, ‘not a chance, we’re staying away,’ they’re the guy that goes and picks the player.

“We just watch and if we like a player, regardless of the country he lives in. If he’s what we want, we’re gonna pick him.”

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Cory Emmerton was a Red Wings forward from 2010-14. He’s been playing in Europe since then and has found himself a new home. After five seasons with Lausanne, Emmerton is switching Swiss clubs. He’s joining HC Sierre.

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