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  • Writer's pictureJoel Vanderlaan

Abramov Excited by Move to Belleville

Image Credit: Rochester Americans

Vitaly Abramov departed his home country of Russia at the tender age of seventeen with a singular vision of living his NHL dream. 

The highly-skilled, diminutive, left shooting, right winger left his hometown club of Traktor Chelyabinsk, where he played his under-16 and under-17 hockey.  Chelyabinsk boasts a prestigious development system that has produced a number of NHL players, including: Artemi Panarin, Yevgeni Kuznetsov, Valeri Nichushkin, Yevgeni Dadonov, Vyacheslav Voynov, and Sergei Gonchar.

"The dream of playing in the NHL for me, it was important to go to North America," noted the Chelyabinsk product. 

Canada Calling 

Selected 13th overall in the 2015 CHL import draft, Abramov flourished in the QMJHL cities of Gatineau and Victoriaville, scoring at an elite clip of 1.63 points a game. He became known as a junior phenom and tallied 301 points and 129 goals in 185 career games with the Olympiques and Tigres.

Soon the NHL noticed the Russian kid with the nose for the net. Abramov was drafted 65 overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 3rd round of the 2016 NHL amateur draft. More recently, the 20 year-old Abramov was moved to Ottawa by Columbus in deal in which Matt Duchene was the principal trade target.

 "It feels like I’m going home," noted Abramov, who played parts of three seasons in Gatineau, on being acquired by the Ottawa Senators organization.

"I'm excited," said Abramov of playing in Belleville," the fans are great there. I like the ice, everything about it. My billet family came over to watch me play the last game there."

The skilled winger's last road-trip as a member of the Cleveland Monsters was a visit to Belleville. In Cleveland, the nimble Russian amassed 12 goals and 22 points in 52 games.

Abramov Impresses in B-Sens Debut

Acquired Friday morning, the 5-foot-9, 171-pound right winger made his Belleville Senators debut a night later in Rochester, donning his new threads. Abramov showed flashes of patented shiftiness, speed and skill, impressing his new bench boss. "He came as advertised: great work ethic, competes hard. I think he could be a great asset for us, down the stretch,'' said Belleville Senators' head coach Troy Mann.

Despite not finding the score-sheet, Abramov demonstrated his quickness and ability to find his way to hard areas of the ice. He even drew a penalty roughly one minute into the game. In his first action with the club, Belleville managed their 15-straight game (11-0-0-4) with at least a point by defeating the Rochester Americans 5-3.

Hopefully, it is the first of many wins for Abramov in a Senator's sweater.

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