Future Watch: G Juan Radulov, Oshawa Generals

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CentralScouting
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Future Watch: G Juan Radulov, Oshawa Generals

Post by CentralScouting » Sun Nov 23, 2008 1:23 am

Name: Juan Radulov
Position: Goalie
Team: Oshawa Generals
Age: 17
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 207 lbs.
Country: Russia
Draft Eligible: S12 Entry Draft

Juan Radulov didn't exactly have the greatest start to his North American hockey career.

The first game he played after coming over from Russia to play in the TJHL junior leagues, Radulov surrendered seven goals on 26 shots (a .731 save percentage) and Oshawa lost 7-4 to North Bay.

It would've crushed the confidence of most 15-year-old prospects. But Radulov wasn't bothered. "They always tell you one game doesn't make your career. It was a terrible start, but you have to put it behind you and move on," Radulov says.

He did exactly that, because in his next game he stopped 33 of 34 shots from Peterborough and led Oshawa to a 4-1 victory.

Radulov's record was only 6-17-3 in his first year, and his numbers (4.60 GAA, .874 save percentage) were certainly not awe-inspiring. But the Russian netminder, who says he idolized Al Donaldson and Derek Morozov growing up, kept improving as the year went on. In S10, Oshawa was a much improved (though still below .500) team, and Radulov's 16-18-3 record was a large part of it. Radulov started all but one game for the Generals in S10, recording a 3.07 GAA and .896 save percentage.

His rapid development has certainly caught the attention of TJHL scouts, who currently list him as the only "marquee" player in the TJHL junior league. That status makes him the odds-on favourite to go #1 overall in the S12 Entry Draft just over a year away. Scouts love his size, his ability to play the puck, and his lateral quickness. And as evidenced by the fact that he only missed one start in S10, he can carry a huge workload too. Many call him the best goalie prospect since Eliezer Camirand.

"There's still a long way to go before that happens," says Radulov on his potential #1 draft status. "I still have another year to play here and we'll worry about making the jump to the TJHL after this season's done. You can't get ahead of yourself."

And the Generals are certainly glad to have him. He brings new hope to a team that hasn't finished above .500 in a season since S4. Expectations are high for the Generals this year, and Radulov is the main reason for it. With other fairly highly-rated S12 draft prospects Griffin Jirik, Carl Johnson, and Drew Boyle, as well as former first-round pick and 6'9" mammoth defenseman Jovani Tabaracci likely to return for his final year of junior eligibilty, the Generals have good reason to feel like it's their year.

"We really think we can make some noise this year. We've got a lot of very good players in here and we're all getting to the peak of our junior careers at about the same time. We know what we can do," Radulov says of the upcoming championship. "If I get drafted next year and am not back year for S12, hopefully I can leave on a high note."

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Post by David » Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:08 am

#1 Overall? Thoughts? :P
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JonL
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Post by JonL » Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:10 am

Probably, if he remains a star and if there are no new stars for the S12 draft.

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Post by ChargersGM » Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:51 am

I think so, especially if Stroud ends up picking 1st again.
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Post by JonL » Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:12 am

I dont think Stroud will pick 1st overall. Most likely, it'll be either Weston or Montreal.

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