Elliott: Ducks’ draft pick may boost blue line

Pavel Mintyukov poses for a picture after being selected tenth overall by the Ducks during the first round of the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft on Thursday in Montreal

Sports governing bodies and leagues have differed dramatically in their responses. Russia’s brutal invasion of UkraineFrom banning athletes from Russia and Belarus from competitions in figure skating and track and field

and outright banning sacred grass WimbledonApproach to business as usual in the NHL.

The league’s biggest nod so far was that the Stanley Cup would not tour Russia this summer when the trophy made the rounds between the winners, impressing only Valery Nichushkin of the Colorado Avalanche

But it is clear that tensions between the NHL and Russia have escalated, and it was reported last week that Philadelphia Flyers goalscorer Ivan Fedotov was taken to a remote military base in northern Russia

last week because he allegedly Had planned to go to North America using fraud. military identity. There are never any guarantees in the NHL draft

some kids are as young as 18 and others take years to mature – but this year picking Russian players seemed particularly risky.

but ducksdrafting 10th Picked up the Russian-born defense, after his third straight non-playoff season Pavel Mintyukov, 18, with the belief that he will be able to avoid potential travel problems

as he has spent the last two seasons in North America and has no intention of returning to Russia. If they are right, they could be a gem for bolstering a large, young defense corps.

A left-handed shooter, he is 6 foot 2 and about 190 pounds. Playing for a poor team last season with Saginaw, Mich., of the Ontario (Canada) Junior League, he scored 17 goals and 62 points in 67 games, becoming third among the league’s defenders

He previously played for the youth teams of Dynamo Moscow and was considered a good goal scorer who could read plays well and knew when to jump to support the offense. “He’s been on the radar all season,” said Pat Verbeek, the Ducks’ general manager.

“What I love about the player is he is very creative from a defensive position to offensive. He has really good competition. Good sense of hockey.”

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