Frames sees Poirier’s Kuznetsov playing for the crown at the 2022 Memorial Cup

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These promising prospects have much in common.

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Both were selected for Calgary Flames in the 2020 NHL Draft.

They are currently skating side by side as a defense partner for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s St. John Sea Dogs.

And on Wednesday, Jan Kuznetsov and Jeremy Poirier are aiming to roll up the Memorial Cup. Seadog will take on the crowd as the host of the tournament and fight Hamilton Bulldog in a championship showdown.

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“It’s a big opportunity for them,” said Flames Director Todd Button, an amateur scout who was in St. John for the chunks of the Canadian Hockey League’s marquee event. “And you don’t even have to ask me — just go back and ask about winning all the press conferences Darryl Sutter held this year and what it needs, obviously to the Stanley Cup. It’s hard to win — it’s a series of four 7-game series, so whenever you win at any level and add it to your resume, the next level when people talk about the process and what it does. I will help you with.

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“It’s really beneficial to experience it.”

These Blue Line companions have followed a similar path since being selected at approximately hourly intervals in the 2020 NHL Draft. Kuznetsov skated to NCAA’s UConn Huskies as Calgary’s second round horror and to Poirier as a third round horror. They have played three times in the Memorial Cup so far, each boasting the same stat line with one goal and two assists.

Kuznetsov, who started the campaign at AHL Stockton before being reassigned to the junior rank, is more at home, although a 20-year-old left-handed man from Murmansk, Russia, is determined to add some discomfort to him. It’s like a toolkit. As he told the post media in a mid-season interview, “I definitely don’t want to sacrifice defensive games, because I think that’s the most important thing. But get in the rush at the right time and take a shot. You might play some on the blue line just by passing, but definitely nothing flashy. “

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Poirier was always able to accumulate points from the back end, but he has been working on changing his reputation as a man who was sometimes responsible in his zone. Saraberi-de-Valleyfield, a 20-year-old left-handed player from Kenya, said a few months ago that this would be an ideal stage to show off his improvements. And those teams have the best players in the country, so if you want to compete and succeed, you really need to be defensively good. “

After losing in the opening round of the QMJHL playoffs, Sea Dogs won a national championship with a one-month adjustment period and a surprising change in coaching. They won the spot in the title game by posting a 2-0-1 record, including a 5-3 victory over the bulldog during round-robin play.

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Wednesday’s Memorial Cup final (4 pm MT, TSN) should be the last junior tour for both Kuznetsov and Poirier. They may be in Calgary next season with a farm team that will soon be relocating to Flames.

Button was certainly impressed with this defense duo — for fans looking from home, keep an eye on numbers 2 and 54 while scouting the tournament at St. John.

“They made significant improvements over the last two years where our development team wanted to work for them. That said, there’s still a way to go. When it becomes applicable, the levels will be different, “said Button. “I think Jeremy has made great strides in the defensive part of his game. So does Yang. Yang is moving the puck. He’s a little more ready. He’s more patient. Aggressive Blue Line. So he’s finding a lane. He doesn’t just throw it back into the corner. He’s not high risk, but he’s smarter, more calm, and more patient, so he’s more aggressive. It will lead to various opportunities.

“Jeremy, he’s always played that role. He was a more gambler / risk taker. I’ve always found, and one of the reasons we think we won him in the third round is Because he wanted to make every play a home run. Now he learned to hit a single, advance a runner, or in any case. He isn’t going to go bankrupt in every play. ..

“Yan was a defensive defensive who always wanted to take care of himself, and Jeremy was certainly an aggressive guy, but they added to the weaknesses of the game, which I’m most impressed with. That’s the part I received, and that’s why I think it’s a good sign for the future. “

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Frames sees Poirier’s Kuznetsov playing for the crown at the 2022 Memorial Cup

Source link Frames sees Poirier’s Kuznetsov playing for the crown at the 2022 Memorial Cup

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