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Russian Vladislav Kamenev reintroducing himself to the Avalanche
7 2018 . Denver Post. By Mike Chambers

Kamenev was acquired from Nashville in the Nov. 5 three-team trade that sent Matt Duchene from Colorado to Ottawa

On the ice and in the classroom, Vladislav Kamenev has a new beginning with the Avalanche.

The young Russian forward played just 20 games last season, including his debut with Colorado on Nov. 18 when he declined morning-skate interviews because of his inability to speak and English before breaking his forearm against the Washington Capitals. Kamenev, who was acquired from Nashville in the Nov. 5 three-team trade that sent Matt Duchene from Colorado to Ottawa, returned late in the season and played two more games for the Avs.

But he was a healthy scratch in the first-round playoff series loss against Nashville having not played enough games to get comfortable. Before the trade, Kamenev played 10 games for the Predators American Hockey League affiliate and three for Colorados AHL partner.

By the time training camp starts next week, the Avs believe Kamenev will have the ability to compete for a roster spot for opening night or beyond. The 22-year-old is on the Avs rookie showcase roster as the only member with NHL experience last season. Kamenev practiced with the rookies Friday before the group flew to Las Vegas for the upcoming rookie showcase against their peers from the Vegas Golden Knights, Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks.

I think its a good platform to come in, based on the lack of playing time from last year, Avs assistant general manager Craig Billington said of the 6-foot-2, 204-pound Kamenev. As we built out the roster, and looking at possibilities, for him to come in to get some games under his belt, to get a bit of a jump start on main camp, is really a good opportunity. Its really important, so its a good opportunity to get some competition early.

Kamenev still isnt comfortable speaking English. But hes much-improved from a year ago.

Everything is good, he said after Fridays practice. Im more comfortable than I was in Nashville. Here, I have a chance to play in the NHL more than Nashville.

Kamenev could be one of three Russians for the Avs, along with defenseman Nikita Zadorov and goalie Semyon Varlamov. Speaking English with more fluent countrymen has helped him understand everything from what the coaches are saying to ordering food at a restaurant.

Now, I feel a lot better, Kamanev said. I can speak with the guys.

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