PITTSBURGH -- With the 201st pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, the Philadelphia Flyers have selected Valeri Vasiliev, a defenseman from Spartak Moscow. Yes, another big defenseman selected by the Flyers in this draft. He's over six feet tall and over 200 pounds. Seems to be a trend.
Vasiliev is a stay-at-home defenseman with an NHL body, but a serious shoulder injury limited him to 18 games this season for Spartak Moscow in the Russian Junior League. Vasiliev might get some attention during the selections thanks to his size, mobility, and defensive play. He can deliver big hits, but he also needs to avoid overdoing this in North America, because the game there is faster and there is less time to recover if compared to Europe.
The injury seems as though it hurt Vasiliev's draft stock considerably, as playing just 18 games at age 17 will do to a player. But that's why it's the seventh round of the draft. Taking a risk on a player isn't the worst thing in the world.