"His hot Mom can't help him score"
I can remember watching the 2008 NHL Entry Draft with my brothers, and back then the draft was actually exciting for us because the Toronto Maple Leafs actually had their own early 1st rounder. I will admit that I was really hoping the Leafs would grab Nikita Filatov and when the Leafs announced Luke Schenn's name I might have dropped some f-bombs.
Filatov was taken right after Schenn, by the Columbus Blue Jackets with the 6th overall pick. But now the young, talented Russian is threatening to become the biggest disappointment in Blue Jackets history.
During his draft year, it was thought he would make the transition to North America seamlessly and be a top player in the league in no time. Instead, he struggled under Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock, and spent most of his first professional year in the AHL with the Syracuse Crunch. He did manage to score a promising 4 goals in 8 games with the big club that year however - showing some promise for the next season.
His 2nd year with the Blue Jackets was an even bigger disaster with the defensively minded Hitchcock playing Filatov on the checking line for the start of the year. After 13 games and only 2 points, the unhappy Filatov requested to play the rest of the year for CSKA Moscow in the KHL.
At the beginning of the 2010-11 season, it seemed like Filatov would get a fresh start with the club, with new head coach Scott Arniel taking over for Ken Hitchcock. But after starting the season with the Blue Jackets and only putting up 7 assists and no goals in 23 games he was sent back down to the AHL. His 15 points in 26 games with the Springfield Falcons down on the farm isn't anything to get excited about either.
Will Filatov become another disappointing Columbus high draft pick like Rostislav Klesla, Gilbert Brule and Nikolai Zherdev?
Filatov has to become a much better two-way player and get a lot stronger to become a useful NHL player. He has been a huge disappointment for the Blue Jackets and their fans, who were counting on having Nikita Filatov's offense in the lineup by now. If hockey doesn't work out for him he could always try acting. He looks a lot like that actress Amanda Bynes. I could see them doing some Disney movie together, about two twins that play in the NHL and save hockey in the south.