In the past 10 years 25 defenseman from Russia were selected in the NHL Entry Draft. I am going to look at how the players drd during their 1st draft eligible year. That does not mean that they were selected in their first year players such as Yegor Rykov who was drafted this past year was in his second year of eligibility.
|7||Philadelphia Flyers||Ivan Provorov (D)||6’1||1/13/1997|
|9||Montréal Canadiens||Mikhail Sergachyov (D)||6’4||6/25/1998|
|14||Florida Panthers||Dmitri Kulikov (D)||6′||10/29/1990|
|16||Buffalo Sabres||Nikita Zadorov (D)||6’5||4/16/1995|
|32||Los Angeles Kings||Vyacheslav Voynov (D)||6′||1/15/1990|
|55||Washington Capitals||Dmitri Orlov (D)||5’11||7/23/1991|
|63||New York Islanders||Andrey Pedan (D)||6’5||7/3/1993|
|66||Vancouver Canucks||Nikita Tryamkin (D)||6’8||8/30/1994|
|68||Toronto Maple Leafs||Rinat Valiyev (D)||6’2||5/11/1995|
|79||New York Rangers||Sergei Zborovsky (D)||6’5||2/21/1997|
|101||Colorado Avalanche||Andrei Mironov (D)||6’2||7/29/1994|
|122||New York Islanders||Anton Klementyev (D)||6′||3/25/1990|
|132||New Jersey Devils||Yegor Rykov (D)||6’2||4/14/1997|
|148||Tampa Bay Lightning||Nikita Nesterov (D)||5’11||3/28/1993|
|159||Columbus Blue Jackets||Vladislav Gavrikov (D)||6’3||11/21/1995|
|161||Colorado Avalanche||Sergei Boikov (D)||6’2||1/24/1996|
|178||Tampa Bay Lightning||Oleg Sosunov (D)||6’8||4/13/1998|
|183||Dallas Stars||Dmitri Sinitsyn (D)||6’2||6/17/1994|
|187||Calgary Flames||Rushan Rafikov (D)||6’2||5/15/1995|
|195||Boston Bruins||Maxim Chudinov (D)||5’11||3/25/1990|
|200||New York Rangers||Mikhail Pashnin (D)||6’1||5/11/1989|
|201||Philadelphia Flyers||Valeri Vasilyev (D)||6’1||5/31/1994|
|205||Detroit Red Wings||Alexei Marchenko (D)||6’2||1/2/1992|
|207||Washington Capitals||Dmitri Zaitsev (D)||6’1||1/18/1998|
|209||Edmonton Oilers||Ziyat Paigin (D)||6’6||2/8/1995|
Canadian Major Junior
- CHL is consisted of QMJHL, OHL & WHL.
- Seven players played their 17 year-old draft season in Canadian Major Junior hockey.
- Six of the seven players were selected inside the first 80 selections. In fact seven of the first 10 Russian players selected played in the CHL.
17 Year-Old Season
|Ivan Provorov (D)||1.02||WHL|
|Mikhail Sergachyov (D)||0.85||OHL|
|Dmitri Kulikov (D)||1.09||QMJHL|
|Nikita Zadorov (D)||0.24||OHL|
|Andrey Pedan (D)||0.24||OHL|
|Sergei Zborovsky (D)||0.27||WHL|
- The average PPG is .56
- There will be more context after I have a chance to look at CHL numbers but Provorov, Sergachyov & Kulikov produced good-to-excellent offensive numbers.
- Zadorov, Pedan and Zborovsky are big players both over 6’5 and produced low offensive numbers.
- Boikov was drafted as an overage player.
Russia – KHL & Russia SuperLeague
|Vyacheslav Voynov (D)||Russia-SL||0.11||36||4|
|Dmitri Orlov (D)||KHL||0.07||15||1|
|Maxim Chudinov (D)||Russia||0.00||18||0|
There were only three players selected in the NHL that played the majority of their first draft eligible season in the KHL/Russian SuperLeague. The Russian SuperLeague was the KHL before the KHL.
If a prospect is playing at this level they should strongly be considered a draft prospect. Both Orlov and Voynov were early selections (both second round picks), whereas Chudinov was a 7th round pick.
- Voynov, legal issues aside, was a legit top four defenseman.
- Orlov has 60 points in 200 NHL games. He plays predominately 3rd pairing minutes with the Capitals.
- Chudinov likely has enough talent to play in the NHL. He is one of the top defenseman in the KHL and, I believe, he is signed for two more seasons.
There’s very little data to make any judgement on. Other than to say that if a 17 year-old is playing in the KHL, regardless of their PPG, there is a good chance that he will have a shot in the NHL. Draft the kid.
|Alexei Marchenko (D)||MHL||0.79||43||34|
|Yegor Rykov (D)||MHL||0.50||42||21|
|Nikita Nesterov (D)||MHL||0.41||46||19|
|Vladislav Gavrikov (D)||MHL||0.27||45||12|
|Anton Klementyev (D)||Russia-3||0.26||68||18|
|Nikita Tryamkin (D)||MHL||0.20||60||12|
|Rushan Rafikov (D)||MHL||0.19||53||10|
|Andrei Mironov (D)||MHL||0.15||59||9|
|Valeri Vasilyev (D)||MHL||0.11||18||2|
- MHL is the top Junior league within Russia. Unlike the CHL the teams may have an affiliation with a KHL team. Here is a HF boards thread which discusses the MHL.
- The average Pts/G is .32
- Both Marchenko, Nesterov & the colossal (6’8) Trymakin have played in the NHL.
- Outside of Nikita Tryamkin all the players that averaged under .4 PPG do not appear to be on target to be NHL players. All of the > .4 PPG prospects, with the exception of Tryamkin, are between 6′ – 6’3 and were born in 1990 – 1991.
- So by quick glance, if you are drafting out of the MHL they should be above .25 PPG.
|Ziyat Paigin (D)||MHL B||0.51||35||18|
|Oleg Sosunov (D)||MHL B||0.31||39||12|
|Dmitri Sinitsyn (D)||MHL B||0.00||7||0|
- There were only three players selected in the MHL-B division. Each player has his own story.
- Ziyat Piagin is a big defender that went undrafted in his first two years of eligibility.
- Oleg Sosunov was drafted this past season, he is another giant defender (6’8), with a nasty side (66 PIMs in 39 games) and was ranked 25th by NHL Central Scouting amongst European skaters.
- Dmitry Sinitsyn took a weird detour in his hockey career. His 16 year old season he played with the Dallas Stars U18 midget team. He was drafted to play with Green Bay in the USHL. Had a visa issue where he then returned home to play 7 games in the MHL. He then returned to North America in December and practiced with U of Mass-Lowell but was redshirted, meaning – didn’t play in any games so that he could keep his four years of NCAA eligibility. Also, he was drafted by the Dallas Stars so with him playing his 15 & 16 year old seasons they likely had some inside information.
|Rinat Valiyev (D)||USHL||0.36||36||13|
|Dmitri Zaitsev (D)||NAHL||0.42||53||22|
|Mikhail Pashnin (D)||Russia2||0.05||42||2|
- Three players were drafted in three separate leagues.
- Valiyev was drafted as an overager. He had a decent season in the USHL and could have been considered a late round pick.
- Zaitsev was drafted out of the NAHL, which is a United States junior league.
- Pashnin was drafted out of Russia2 which is a Russia (minor league) similar to the VHL.
- I think that the Russian factor hasn’t had an effect on impact Canadian junior prospects (Zadorov, Kulikov, Provorov)
- If a 17 year-old defenseman is playing in the KHL there’s a good chance he’s a quality prospect.
- The MHL has been a mixed bag but players that are putting up decent offensive totals (.4+ PPG) are worth a mid-round pick.
- The NHL like’s drafting big defenseman and the Russian’s have produced some big men. Six of the twenty-five defenseman were between 6’5 – 6’8 in height! The average Russian defenseman that was drafted was over 6’2 (74.4 inches).
- Continuing with height 13 defensemen were between 6’1 – 6’4 and six defenseman were between 5’11 – 6′
- My fav picks are Chudinov & Marchenko both performed excellent comparably to tother prospects and were chosen in the 7th round.