This is all happening all of a sudden, so bear with me here. I originally brought out the story on Grachev because I didn't really know anything about how he played. Well, we just got this 2nd Round pick from the Phoenix Coyotes, and again, I don't know anything about him.
Think Nikolai Zherdev in a lot of ways, maybe just not as good. Enver Lisin is from Russia and was a 2nd Round pick in the 2004 NHL Draft. Think back to when we drafted Lauri Korpikoski and Al Montoya in the first round, and then Dubinsky in the second. Ironically, now it's our first round pick Lauri Korpikoski traded on Monday, July 13 for Enver Lisin.
Here's a highlight reel I found on YouTube by kuleminfan posted on March 05, 2009, so it's recent. I've made this embed bigger than the Grachev video. You'll have the option for High Quality (HQ) once you start the video.
Who does he remind you of? He definately showcases some moves Korkiposki can simply not perform. Some signs of Zherdev, no? Maybe more than you think. When the Rangers acquired Zherdev, all signs pointed to an offensive enigma with absolute no defensive responsibility. Zherdev made strides to overcome that last year. Now we have Lisin, who has so far posted a -36 +/- in just 78 career games. We all know you can't take +/- at face value, but those numbers are certainly startling, although he did improve to just a -13 in his 48 games this last season. However, also packaged with Lisin may come an attitude. In the 06-07 season after being called up to the Coyotes, he was placed back down in the minors, but Lisin refused his assignment. Subsequently, he was suspended and Lisin left the country and returned to Russia.
Now he has since played in the NHL and AHL again, so maybe all that is behind him. What we do know is this young, 23 year old forward definately has an upside of offensive finesse (13g-8a-21pts in 48 games last season)and a downside of defense. He was considered possibly the fastest skater of his draft - a draft that included Ovechkin and Malkin. Does he remind you of Zherdev? What do you think about Enver Lisin? He's a blueshirt now.
Edit - Just thought I'd throw some of the Great One Gretzky's words in here. Right before the all-star break of this season when Lisin scored the goal on Detroit where he jumped (in the video), similar to a move Zherdev performed last year but didn't score on,
Gretzky said afterwards that if there is a faster skater in hockey, "I don't know where he is."
"We knew he had incredible talent. . . . He really had a hard time both on the ice and off the ice," Gretzky said. "Off the ice because of the language barrier. It's tough for a guy, but he stuck it out, he hung in in San Antonio. He could have went home for triple the money, but he wanted to be an NHL player."
Since his recall from San Antonio, "he's been nothing but tremendous for us," Gretzky said.
The story found here also went on to say Lisin actually played some time on the Coyotes penalty-killing unit. On the goal against Detroit, Lisin said,
"I tried the move in practice. I like this move, and if you do it in practice a lot, it's kind of like in a game. (Speed) helps a lot. It's one of the more important parts of the game, skating, and I focus on it. I'm very happy I have the speed."