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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Jared Knight weighs in on draft-eligible teammates Namestnikov, Harrington

Had a nice chat with Bruins prospect and London Knights winger Jared Knight this week, and picked his brain a bit about two high-profile OHL teammates expected to go pretty high in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. He was kind enough to allow me to let him share his thoughts on his teammates, and I always enjoy hearing what these players have to say about their peers. I hope you do as well.

Russian center Vladislav Namestnikov hasn't played a lot with Knight (much to Boston boosters' chagrin) this season, but he could end up going top-10 in the draft. Here is what Knight had to say about him:

He'll be a first-rounder. He has a lot of speed and is really slick and creative. I love watching him in practice when we'll be doing these 1-on-1 drills, and he'll be going through the defenseman, putting the puck through their legs, sticks, pretty much anywhere he can find an opening.

Knight also related a humorous story about how when he first met Namestnikov, and only knew him as "the Russian":

I was talking real slow to him so he could follow what I was saying. All of the sudden, he comes back with this rapid answer and almost no accent and it was a total surprise to me. I found out later that he was pretty much raised over here (when Namestnikov's dad, Evgeny played in the NHL and minor leagues), but he's definitely not having any issues adjusting to the play and culture here.

Knight also weighed on on defenseman Scott Harrington, who's been an up-and-down performer this season after some pretty big things were expected from him going into it.

He's another first-rounder in my opinion. He's a big, solid stay-at-home guy with some skill as well. He's a strong skater, makes a good first pass. He's a good leader, and is just solid in every aspect of the game. He can do a lot out there.

Thanks, Jared, for sharing your opinion and helping the B2011DW readers, fans and followers to get to know your teammates a little better.

Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to ask him about Seth Griffith, another interesting prospect and potential sleeper pick, but we'll follow up on him before the season is out.

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