26-Year-Old Defenseman – Calgary Flames
Kris Russell Contract Information:
Signed a three-year contract extension in October 2009.
Russell assisted on teammate Jiri Hudler's game-winning goal in Saturday's contest against Edmonton. He finished the night plus-2 and blocked six shots.
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|2013-14 Proj||26||CGY||76||Subscribe now to see our 2013-14 projections for Kris Russell|
Age is determined on October 1st of each season.
|Dec 7||at EDM||0||1||1||2||0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||6||21:36||2:18|
|Nov 30||at LA||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||3||0.0||0||4||26:32||6:01|
|Nov 29||at ANH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0.0||3||6||24:30||0:00|
|Nov 18||at WPG||0||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||1||0.0||1||7||27:42||5:02|
|Nov 8||at COL||0||0||0||-2||0||0||0||0||3||0.0||0||3||24:38||2:39|
|Nov 7||at STL||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0.0||0||2||25:04||7:12|
|Nov 5||at MIN||0||0||0||-2||2||0||0||0||2||0.0||0||1||23:20||4:28|
|Nov 3||at CHI||1||0||1||2||0||0||0||0||3||33.3||1||7||25:51||0:00|
|Oct 24||at DAL||0||0||0||-1||0||0||0||0||2||0.0||0||3||23:40||2:28|
|Oct 22||at PHO||0||1||1||-1||0||0||0||0||3||0.0||2||1||25:02||0:26|
|Oct 21||at LA||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.0||3||4||20:58||2:01|
|Oct 19||at SJ||0||1||1||-1||0||0||1||0||0||0.0||0||1||18:58||2:17|
|Oct 16||at ANH||0||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||3||0.0||1||2||21:34||2:12|
|View Kris Russell's Full Game Log|
|Oct 4||at CLS||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||0||1||0.0||2||1||19:37||2:59|
|Oct 3||at WAS||0||0||0||2||2||0||0||0||0||0.0||1||3||19:42||4:57|
Kris Russell: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
The first move newly hired head coach Ken Hitchcock made was to trade for Russell, with whom he was familiar from his days with the Blue Jackets. Russell didn't disappoint, showing off his skating and ability to rush the puck while not being a liability on the defensive end. He'll be part of the six defensemen Hitchcock uses most nights.
Russell continues to struggle in the NHL, as he hasn't been able to establish himself as either the offensive threat he was in junior hockey, or as a reliable provider of outlet passes from the defensive end. With a cohort of blue line prospects behind him in the Blue Jackets' system, Russell's time in Columbus might be growing very short if he can't take his game to the next level.
In 2009-10, Russell put up 22 points (7G, 15A), barely setting a career high in the category. At 5'10, 160-pounds, Russell does not have the ideal frame for a defenseman, making it extra hard for him to clear through traffic on the ice and put up points. He's still got some upside if he can find some space, but there are safer options for your fantasy blue line.
Russell's size may always be an issue, but he heads into his third NHL season with a real chance to shine. Coach Ken Hitchcock remains pleased with his progress in his own end of the rink, and as Russell proves himself defensively he'll get more opportunities to unleash his tremendous offensive potential. Last year he doubled his point total from his rookie season, and it's not unreasonable to think the kid who scored better than a point a game in his final year of junior hockey could double his NHL output again and crack the 40-point mark.
Russell appeared in 67 games as a rookie but wasn’t asked to take on any kind of offensive role, as instead the Blue Jackets wanted him to concentrate on minimizing his mistakes and handling his defensive assignments. Expect that to change this season as the club still lacks any kind of scoring threat on the blue line, and Russell certainly has the talent to establish himself as the club’s top point man on the power play.
The Blue Jackets absolutely stole Russell with the 67th overall pick in 2005. If Russell was 6-2 and not 5-10, people would be talking about him being the next Dion Phaneuf (minus the hitting). Yet since he is undersized, he is going to have to prove himself once he turns pro. Russell may very well be the most talented defenseman in all of Canadian major junior hockey. This year Russell had 69 points in 59 games for Medicine Hat of the WHL. It remains to be seen how much of a factor Russell's lack of size will be in the long run, but he provides so much offense from the blue line that he is a prospect who must be watched very closely.
Last season's WHL Defenseman of the Year scored 47 points in 55 games with Medicine Hat. Russell doesn't have a strong physical presence but could have a future on the power play.