Evgeny Dadonov Source: Zimbio.com

Panther Roster Evaluation: Evgeny Dadonov

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So the Trade Deadline is February 28th at 3PM EST. What we’re going everyday until then is do an honest roster break down of the current roster for the month of February.  Today, we look at Evgeny Dadonov.

Our own version of Geno, Evgeny Dadonov was drafted in the third round, 71st overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.  A native of Russia, the forward is able to play either right or left wing and uses his superior speed to generate offence.  Like many Russian players of his size (5′ 10″) who are fast, they are also very skilled at controlling the puck, stickhandling and posses a quick shot.  While Dadonov has not put up overly impressive numbers anywhere he’s been, the potential that he has indicates he can become a consistent goal scorer.  He just needs more experience.

Disappointed that he didn’t make the NHL roster this season he was sent back to the AHL affiiliate of the Panthers in Rochester, but not for long.  Called up in December, Dadonov made an immediate impression and began earning more ice time as his play defined his value.  He soon found himself playing in the top six and getting power play time.  He picked up an assist in his first game against Colorado, and scored his first goal against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Signed for one more year at the nice price of $875,000, Dadonov has the potential to be a keeper for the Panthers as they head to their restructuring of the roster.  While he is out indefinetly with a broken finger, his return can certainly help the offensive struggles this team has been plagued with since 2000.  Not predicting him to by any type of 40 goal scorer, however as he develops and becomes accostomed to the North American style of play, I could see Dadonov scoring 25-30 goals a season.  Under one condition.  That he’s surrounded by the right people.

As for his future, I’d be surprised if he went anywhere and as long as he doesn’t “screw” up, I would think that he’ll be here for the balance of the season, and be on the roster next year.  But his talent and skill cannot be wasted playing third and fourth line minutes as has happened with many Panther youngsters in the past.  As long as he earns it, play him on the top six.  That’s where he belongs.

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