Future Watch: Sergei Kalinin Hockey Rookie Cards, New Jersey Devils – Last May the New Jersey Devils inked Russian forward, Sergei Kalinin to an entry level contract. Then we all forgot about him until training camp. At 24, he cut his teeth in the KHL, playing against men, helping to prepare him to try and grab a spot on New Jersey’s roster.
Internationally he has struck gold twice, the first time playing in the World Junior Championships in 2011 and the World Championships in 2014, representing Russia each time. Both of those teams were impressive and that kind of experience has certainly helped shape his career. At 6′-3″and 200lbs he can really move the puck, battle in the corners and get into scoring position. He plays a solid two-way game and he has a chance to boost an anemic offensive team.
This winger will add to the power play and although he’s never played North American hockey he has played on North American rinks. Many times players used to a larger sheet can struggle on smaller ice but he’s not having that issue because he doesn’t need a lot of room to operate.
To date, Kalinin has only been in KHL trading card sets but starting October 9th it looks like he’ll play in his first NHL game when the Devils host the Winnipeg Jets. At that point he’ll be eligible to get his first officially licensed trading card. Nobody has made a card of him in North America. Who will be the first?
Keep an eye out, as he could be a real dark horse for this season.
Here’s a KHL fan video showing off his skills:
Here he is going coast to coast:
The Devils have had some terrific Russian players in the past and Kalinin looks like he’ll be the next one.
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