Alexander Polushin

Basics

Type: 
Out of Organization
Position: 
Right Wing
Shoots/Catches: 
Left
Height: 
6.04
Weight: 
212
Born: 
05/08/1983
Hometown: 
Krivo-Chepetsk, RUS
Acquired: 
Selected by Tampa Bay Lightning in Round 2 (#47) at the 2001 NHL Entry Draft
Last Team: 
None
Projects As: 
Scoring liner

Contract

Contract Status: 
Unsigned

Bio

History: 

Junior Career

The roller coaster junior career of Alexander Polushin began in his home town of Kirov where he spent his formative years in Kirov's hockey school. Soon thereafter Polushin moved to Moscow to be tutored in the larger Dynamo hockey program. In 1999-2000 he played 18 games for Dynamo's team in the 1st (Farm) League scoring 4 goals and 7 points. His performance was good enough for him to be loaned to Upper League club Spartak Moscow where he had a goal in 14 games playing against full grown men at age 17. The following year Polushin played for Dynamo's Upper League affiliate THK Tver and scored 10 goals and 15 points in 38 games. It was during this season that Polushin also became a fixture on Russia's 1983 born tournament teams. Polushin had solid outings in the 4-Nations and 5-Nations tournaments as well as 3 goals in 6 games as Russia won gold at the 2001 U18 World Junior Championships. However, rumors of attitude problems dogged Polushin prior to the draft and he slipped to the late second round where the Tampa Bay Lightning selected him. The next season Polushin was snatched up by legendary hockey coach Viktor Tikhonov and the CSKA organization. That year Polushin had 19 goals and 36 points in 45 games before scoring an impressive 5 goals and 7 points in 5 playoff games to help earn CSKA promotion to the Superleague. 2001-2002 also marked Polushin's first U20 World Junior Championships for Russia. In 7 games Polushin scored 2 goals and 5 points including a critical third period goal in the final match against Canada to help elevate the Russians to the gold. The next year Polushin played his first season with CSKA at the Superleague level notching 5 goals and 11 points in 47 games. Again, Polushin played a key role for the Russian junior national side playing on a line with phenom Alexander Ovechkin in the 4 Nations tournament and in his second U20 World Junior Championships where he potted 2 goals and 8 points in 6 games to help Russia once again claim gold. In 2002-2003 Polushin also made his Euro Tour debut after being selected to play for the Russian team in the Sweden Games where he was held scoreless in 4 games against the best club players in Europe. Sadly, 2002-2003 may have been the apex of Polushin's prospect career. The next season he returned to CSKA where he started strong scoring 5 goals and 7 points in 13 games before coliding with a teammate in practice and tearing ligaments in his knee. Polushin would not return until the 2004-2005 season after age and infirmity pushed Tikhonov from behind CSKA's bench. His replacement, Vyacheslav Bykov, immediately clashed with Polushin over his conditioning as Polushin returned to camp overweight and out of shape after being off the ice for much of the offseason rehabbing. Polushin played just 17 games at the Superleague level in 2004-2005 and spent most of the year in the 1st League where he had 13 goals and 23 points in 21 games. Just a month before the 2005-2006 season opened, Bykov released Polushin. He would quickly latch on with Severstal Cherepovets under his former Russian national coach Vladimir Plyuschev. The change of scenery seemed to suit Polushin as he played well the first month of the season, but Polushin's pace has since slowed as Cherepovets has sunk in the standings.

Professional Career

According to the Lightning organization, Polushin's agent has demanded a one way contract and has expressed his client's desire to forego playing in the AHL. The Lightning's response to these demands was less than favorable and until Polushin backs off of them, he will not be signed. Due to Russia failing to sign a deal with the IIHF governing transfers, the NHL's new rules regarding the signing of European prospects does not apply and, as of now, the Lightning will hold Polushin's rights indefinitely.

Scouting Report

Strengths: 

Polushin has almost every characteristic you want in a hockey player. He has good size and skating ability and an outstanding shot. Moreover, when he is on his game and focused, Polushin is very willing to do the dirty things to help a hockey team win like backcheck, dig in the corners and go to the net.

Weaknesses: 

The rumors of Polushin being a prima donna prior to the 2001 Entry Draft appear to have some merit as Polushin has alienated one coach in CSKA and infuriated the Lightning with his contractual demands. On the ice, Polushin has yet to regain the form he had prior to his knee injury and has been prone to inconsistency over the past two seasons.

Projection: 

Polushin's star in the organization is fading fast. The Lightning are still interested in signing him and developing him through their minor league system, but they will not bend to his demand to jump straight into the NHL. Such a demand is a non-starter for the Lightning and will derail any future he has in this organization before it begins. If he does choose to humble himself and play in the AHL, Polushin possesses the talent to develop into a scoring liner in the NHL. To this point in his career he has never shown the assertiveness to be a featured offensive performer on a line, but he is very well suited to be a 20-25 goal a year complimentary winger in a role similar to that of Ruslan Fedotenko's.

Statistics