Newest Senator Nikita Filatov has finally landed in Ottawa. Since being acquired at last weekend’s NHL Entry Draft, Sens Army has awaited the talented Russian’s arrival in the nation’s capital. Cutting short his family vacation, Filatov flew into Ottawa to attend their annual prospect development camp. Here’s his first interview with the media courtesy of SensTV.
Filatov showed maturity as he did not bash the Columbus Blue Jackets organization or their former head coach Ken Hitchcock when press by the Ottawa media. He said that Hitchcock actually helped him with his defensive game and he is thankful for that. He also lower expectations for Sens Army as he stated he wants to come to camp and earn a full-time spot on the team.
When asked of what he knows of Ottawa and the Senators, Filatov didn’t know too much. He knew of their leadership core (Alfie and Spezza), and that they were a very young team. When asked what it would be like to line up alongside Jason Spezza, Filatov seemed excited about it and the possibility of playing with an elite centerman.
Nobody fully knows what to expect from Filatov. Is he the next superstar to come out of Russia? Or will he flame out like so many other Russian prospects have in the past? Filatov will be in Ottawa for a few days before heading back to Russia for the summer. Hopefully he spends his summer training and preparing for what will be a very competitive Ottawa training camp in the fall. Nothing will be given to Filatov, and with his history, he will have to earned everything that’s given to him.
Look for Sergei Gonchar to have a huge role in mentoring Filatov when he comes to Ottawa in the fall. Gonchar’s mentoring over Evgeni Malkin help turn him into the Conn Symthe winner three years ago. With the right mentoring from Gonchar, and the proper handling of Filatov by the new coaching staff, Ottawa may have finally found a top six forward with high end skill that can impact a game.
Only time will tell.
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