Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Jaskin Winded but Excited after Joining Blues

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Jaskin Winded but Excited after Joining Blues

Article excerpt

NASHVILLE, Tenn. * Dmitrij Jaskin came off the ice Tuesday morning at Bridgestone Arena and took a few minutes to catch his breath.

Jaskin, 20, was on the ice for the first time in nine days following the end of his season with the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He signed a three-year, entry- level contract with the Blues last week, flew to Nashville on Monday and then practiced with the club in preparation for its game against the Predators.

"It's OK, it's good for me," said Jaskin, who speaks fluent English. "A couple of days practice and I think I will be ready. I'm excited. This is something new for me."

Jaskin (pronounced YASH-kin) was the Blues' second-round pick (No. 41 overall) in 2011. A lefthanded shot who plays right wing, he stands 6 feet 3 and weighs 205 pounds. After finishing in Moncton, where he produced 99 points in 51 games, Jaskin turned his sights to the NHL.

"As advertised," Blues coach Ken Hithcock said. "He looks like a great package. He's got size, he's got quickness, he's smooth with the puck. This is (only a practice), but for a guy not skating for nine days and then come and look like that, it's pretty impressive."

Hitchcock was especially glad to see the specs (height, weight) matched up with the report.

"Yeah, height's right on the mark, so that's a big step," Hitchcock laughed. "Sometimes they come in shorter and lighter when you want them to be taller and heavier."

Jaskin, who is wearing No. 26, is a shooter who might be asked to play a limited role early on with the Blues.

"I'm big, so I need to use my body," Jaskin said. "I think my place here will be to fight for the puck and try to shoot from everywhere ... do everything the coaches want from me and just help the team."

Blues forward Vladimir Sobotka played with Jaskin in the Czech Republic several years ago and has also trained with him. …

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