Like a buried gem found on Tolkuchka, this player’s value is Russian upward.
To double-clutch at the simple realization a player is spending just their second season at the NHL-level means you’re dealing with an extremely special name.
And one that battles proper pronunciation.
That’s the case for the Kings’ Vyacheslav Voynov, who was selected 32nd overall by the Kings in the second round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Voynov was the third player acquired by the Kings in that season’s draft, behind Drew Doughty (#2 overall) and Colten Teubert (#13 overall).
Voynov is showing a maturity and intelligence level right now that trumps Drew Doughty‘s. As for Colten Teubert, he no longer plays in the Kings’ organization. Teubert was traded to the Edmonton Oilers for Dustin Penner on February 28, 2011.
Voynov has played in just 65 regular season NHL games. Sprinkle last season’s 20 postseason contests into the mix, and the number hits 85.
Yet, the kid plays like a veteran. The Kings have an exceptional asset on their hands.
The 23 year-old native of Chelyabinsk, Russia is carrying the Kings’ injury-plagued defense on his shoulders. When you say he’s been the best defenseman on the roster this season – you’re dead-on and right. When you say he’s been the best overall player – you’ve got a point.
Because, in a style of play that seems to come from instinct rather than raw skill, the quickly developing prospect has been on point.
And from the point, he’s been lethal.
#26 bombs Columbus
Slava-Rama: Numbers can be dishonest at times, but the statistics that sit beside Vyacheslav Voynov‘s name just about do his play this season justice. Just about. In the Kings’ first 11 games to start this shortened season, the Russian blue-liner has six points in the form of two goals and four assists.
If you’re looking for beauty, track Voynov’s presence for a shift. Follow him at all times, follow him without the puck. That folks, is when you really see a player.
Voynov’s six points (2G, 4A) is tied for second-best on the roster with three other players – Dustin Brown (3G, 3A), Mike Richards (1G, 5A), and Kyle Clifford (1G, 5A). Brown and Richards are clear-cut top-six forwards, where you’ll expect sexy offensive stat-lines. Clifford has been a horse, and deserves every point he’s tallied this season.
But for Voynov, his offensive numbers are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to analyzing his overall presence on this Kings roster.
When he isn’t inking the score-sheet, he’s keeping scorekeepers on their toes by creating red-light opportunities. The kid puts the puck on net, and he often directs it toward the traffic that presents itself in the crease. Vyacheslav Voynov is fifth on the Kings roster in shots on goal with 22.
In 54 regular season games in the 2011-2012 campaign, Voynov recorded 20 points in the form of eight goals and 12 assists. He’s on pace to shatter those results this year, even in this shortened 48-game season.
Nothing new here
Watch me now
Five-Tools for you: When you talk well-rounded, that speaks to the game of Vyacheslav Voynov. He may be more impressive without the puck than with it. This points to positioning; providing support in all areas on the ice.
Vyacheslav Voynov is open more often than your local Denny’s.
This bodes extremely well for puck control, giving the other four players on the ice with Voynov at any time a reliable target to share the puck with when under pressure. And this is why I stress the beauty of watching Vyacheslav Voynov without the puck.
It’s called ‘regrouping’, and it’s oh so vital in today’s NHL game.
He’s always open. And it if isn’t in a clear and open area multiple feet away, it’s close by for support of the pressure he’s reading.
Mom’s got dinner on the table: For the first time in 27 days come Friday, the Kings will be on home ice at Staples Center. This, for a date with the Columbus Blue Jackets. This will be the second time these two clubs have seen each other this season.
The Kings defeated the Blue Jackets 4-2 on February 5th in Columbus, Ohio at Nationwide Arena.
This will also mark Jack Johnson‘s first visit to Staples Center in an opposing sweater since being traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets last February for Jeff Carter.
Speaking of Vyacheslav Voynov, he had quite the impact the last time the Kings played hockey in downtown Los Angeles.
Come home, we’ve got time
When I kicked it in New Hampshire
Give Loktionov a call
And tell him you’re killing it. Tell him you’re killing it in the big show.