Denis Gurianov Ready to Improve Game in Second AHL Season

Denis Gurianov (Credit: Texas Stars)
One of the last few assignments to Texas before camp began, Denis Gurianov is ready to prove his mettle in the AHL this season. Following last year's unexpected NHL turn in Dallas's season finale, he learned a lot and had an excellent summer. Last season in the AHL, he racked up 12-15=27 in 57 games played. He missed several games midseason to go to the World Juniors where his Russian team won the bronze medal, and he himself scored the medal-winning goal.

"It was a good summer," said Gurianov after today's practice. "It was a good camp, fun and a lot of energy. I feel good right now and ready to go."

Gurianov not only worked out his body this summer, his English language skills are also markedly improved. He has worked with tutors and roomed with English-speaking players last year to continue increasing his comfort and skill in the language.

Asked if he thought he did well in the preseason games in Dallas, he deferred, "No, actually. I need to ask coach."

Derek Laxdal has been a strong influence on the young Russian winger, even helping him to get his driver's license last season. He may have his license now, but his wheels on the ice still need work, according to him.

"[Playing in Dallas,] I learned it was a a high speed and smart game with many shots and hits. I learned I need more speed and need to use my strong size, speed and shot."

Asked what he's looking to improve this season in Texas to get more chances in the NHL, he focused on defense, calling out both his play in the D-zone and penalty kill, if he can play there.