ColoradoAvalanche.com is profiling players who just completed their rookie seasons with the organization. This installment takes a look at forward Vladislav Kamenev.
Vladislav Kamenev is a big, strong two-way center that was acquired by the Colorado Avalanche from the Nashville Predators on Nov. 5 in a three-team trade that also included the Ottawa Senators.
Selected 42nd overall by the Predators in the 2014 NHL Draft, the Orsk, Russia, native spent one more season playing for Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL before coming to North American and joining Nashville's American Hockey League team, the Milwaukee Admirals. He played two-plus seasons with the Admirals and saw two games of action with the Preds, making his NHL debut on Jan. 6, 2017 at the Florida Panthers.
During the 2016-17 season with the Admirals, Kamenev recorded 51 points (21 goals, 30 assists) in 70 games, showing his talent as a high-caliber forward. He also recorded one goal in three games during the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs.
Before being acquired by Colorado, Kamenev played 10 games with Milwaukee during the 2017-18 season and was ranked second on the team in points (eight) and assists (three) at the time of the deal.
He originally reported to the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL following the trade, but the 6-foot-2, 194-pound center didn't stay there long as he was recalled by the Avs on Nov. 14 after recording four assists in four games. He made his debut with the Avalanche two days later versus the Washington Capitals at Pepsi Center.
"I know that he's a trusted defensive player, but he has a great skillset," Colorado head coach Jared Bednar said of Kamenev before the game versus the Capitals. "He has good hands, good feet, smart player, committed on the defensive side of the puck. In the American League, he's put up pretty good numbers."
The center recorded a career-high three hits during the first half of the night before leaving the game after what looked like a harmless collision with Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik. The impact resulted in a broken arm and a long road to recovery.
"You hate to see that," Bednar said after the contest. "A kid coming up and getting a good opportunity to jump in, and he's new to the organization. I know he really wants to impress. He's a little bit down in the dumps, but he'll be back."
Kamenev missed 50 games due to the injury before being assigned to San Antonio on March 10 for a conditioning stint. He had four assists in three games with the Rampage and returned to the Avs lineup on March 18 versus the Detroit Red Wings.
He dressed in one more game for the Avalanche during the campaign, March 22 versus the Los Angeles Kings, and finished the outing with a career-high 12 minutes and 19 seconds of ice time and one shot on net.
Kamenev remained on Colorado's roster for the remainder of the season and the team's run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, getting valuable practice time with the squad and seeing firsthand what it takes to have success in the NHL.
After getting a small taste of what the NHL was all about, Kamenev is aiming to continue to develop and make a splash in the Avs lineup for the 2018-19 season.