from Michael Traikos of the National Post,
On Day 41 of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the NHL’s head European scout was sitting in his home in Helsinki and debating where — or rather if — Danila Yurov belonged in the final draft rankings.
It’s a complicated and sensitive question.
In a normal year, the dynamic winger, who was born in Russia and plays in the KHL, would be considered a top-10 pick. But this is anything but a normal year. The images coming out of Ukraine these days are horrific. With reports that civilians are being brutally targeted with kidnapping, rape and murder, some have strongly suggested that Yurov and any other Russian hockey player should be excluded from the draft as a way of further sanctioning a country that has been accused of committing war crimes.
Instead, the NHL has decided to put away the passports when evaluating potential prospects.
“I’m a Finn who is 180 km away from the Russian border. I have my own private opinions on Russians and (president Vladimir) Putin,” said NHL Central Scouting’s Goran Stubb. “But I don’t want to get into a political discussion. We cannot affect the ranking list on anything other than what we see on the ice.
“We are ranking them as hockey players.”
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