Some European players wait until they are drafted to make the jump to the smaller North American ice rinks. This is not always an issue but for others it takes time to adjust to North American hockey.
Vitali Abramov is a Russian winger who moved to Canada and got a head start on making the transition to North America. He may be small in stature (5'9'') but he has plenty of skill - he compiled 93 points in 63 games in his first season in the QMJHL. Abramov had been a dominant offensive force coming up through the Russian junior programs so the Q was a new challenge for him. All he did was lead rookie scoring in his new league, placing fifth overall as well.
Current Team: Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL)
Date of Birth: May 8, 1998
Place of Birth: Chelyabinsk, Russia
Weight: 170 lbs
The Russian import is a constant threat offensively and makes some impressive plays due to his high skill level. An explosive, well-timed speed burst or change of pace and shifty agility in his feet as well as creative hands make him a slippery forward to check. A skilled playmaker making seeing-eye passes through the tightest of lanes and in perfect time to his teammates. Will shoot the puck when the opportunity presents itself and usually hits his mark when he does but is a natural playmaker first and foremost. Extremely dynamic top line NHL potential. - Future Considerations
A Good Fit in Columbus?
While the greatest organizational need is probably down the middle, a team can always use more skill. While the Jackets seem to have plenty of "smallish" wingers on the roster, I would expect Abramov to warrant consideration should he fall into the second round. He will need to bulk up to play in the NHL - perhaps Oliver Bjorkstrand is a good comparison - but he has great speed and playmaking ability that would be hard to pass up.
Abramov in Action