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Canadian Press
9/15/2006 5:35:37 PM

OTTAWA (CP) - The Ottawa Senators have had mixed success with their dips into Russia's talent pool over the years, but they're banking on having their newest prospect make a splash in North America.

Centre Alexei Kaigorodov took to the ice for the first time with his potential teammates on Friday and big things are already being expected of the 23-year-old, who signed a two-year, entry-level deal with the NHL team Tuesday.

While trying to be cautious with their comments, the Senators, in need of help down the middle, are hoping Kaigorodov can make the grade and jump straight into the NHL.

"I'm not really going to say much more than he doesn't look out of place," Senators coach Bryan Murray said after putting Kaigorodov through his first on-ice workout. "It looks like he knows the game very well."

In recent years, the Senators have had Russian prospects like defenceman Anton Volchenkov step in and contribute right away, but they've also had others like Petr Schastlivy, who worked himself right out of the league despite being given repeated chances to show his skill.

TSN : NHL - Canada's Sports Leader
 

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They were talking about him on TEAM1200 yesterday. It seems he'll at least get a few chances with the big club this year.
 
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