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Lightning's day 1 choices

By DAMIAN CRISTODERO

© St. Petersburg Times,
published June 24, 2001


Alexander Svitov

ROUND: 1. OVERALL: 3.

POSITION: Center.

HT./WT.: 6-3, 198. AGE: 18.

HOMETOWN: Omsk, Russia.

THE LOWDOWN: The No. 2 European prospect by NHL Central Scouting. ... Has been compared to Devils power forward Bobby Holik. ... A strong two-way player, not afraid of the physical game, is good on faceoffs and has a mean streak. ... Played for Russia at the 2001 World Junior Championships. ... Capable of playing with the Lightning next season as a third- or fourth-line forward.

HEAD SCOUT JAKE GOERTZEN SAID: "He's not the same natural goal scorer as (top pick Ilja) Kovalchuk or (fellow Russian Stanislav) Chistov. He's going to have to work harder to get his goals. But he has good hands and can make a play."

Alexander Polushin

ROUND: 2. OVERALL: 47.

POSITION: Forward.

HT./WT.: 6-3; 198. AGE: 18.

HOMETOWN: Kirov, Russia.

THE LOWDOWN: The No. 8 European prospect. ... A strong skater with excellent balance and speed. ... Good friend of former Lightning forward Alexander Kharitonov. ... Plays a physical game. ... Played on the gold medal-winning Russian team at the 2001 Under-18 World Championships and had six points, including three goals.

GOERTZEN SAID: "He has excellent size and is a good skater. He's a talent and his hands are fine."

* * *

Andreas Holmqvist

ROUND: 2. OVERALL: 61.

POSITION: Defense.

HT./WT.: 6-3; 187. AGE: 19.

HOMETOWN: Stockholm, Sweden.

THE LOWDOWN: The No. 22 European prospect. ... An offensive-minded defenseman. ... Good at rushing the puck and making the first pass in the defensive zone. ... Not overly physical but is not afraid to take a chop at the opposition. ... Played for Sweden in 2001 World Junior Championships. ... Despite age, still one or two years away.

GOERTZEN SAID: "He's very, very heads-up and moves the puck very well. He plays with a bit of an edge and he does like to venture into the offensive zone."

* * *

Evgeni Artukhin

ROUND: 3. OVERALL: 94.

POSITION: Right wing.

HT./WT.: 6-4; 213. AGE: 18.

HOMETOWN: Moscow.

THE LOWDOWN: The No. 33 European prospect. ... A big defenseman who fits the Lightning's blueprint perfectly. ... Exceptional skater. ... A relentless and punishing forechecker. ... Loves to hit. ... Defensive player who had just one assist in 24 games with Vityaz Podolsk in the Russian 2 League. ... Lightning general manager Rick Dudley calls him "arguably the best skater in the draft."

DUDLEY SAID: "He likes to hit and he's such a good skater that he hits with a vengeance." -- Compiled by Damian Cristodero.

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