European Forwards

European Forwards

  1. Jesper Boqvist – Born Oct. 98 … Got 6 points in 16 SHL games …  Has above average puck skill, skating and hockey smarts …  Likely a 3rd round pick or late 2nd … McKenzie had him rated 68th on mid-term ratings. … Perimeter player not overly physical …  Creative hockey player, has NHL skills but needs to get stronger
  2. Filip Chytil – One of the youngest draft eligible players (Sept, 5, 1999) … Played in the Czech Elite league against men as a 17 year-old.  Last year as scored 50 points in 30 games in the Czech U18 league as a 16 year-old …  Numbers are similar to Dominik Simon (Penguins 2015 draft pick 5th round) …  Slightly below average height … Solid offensive instincts … Stickhandling is a plus … Speedy skater … (75 – 100)
  3. Rickard Hugg – Smaller speedy forward (5’10) … Put up decent offensive numbers in the Swedish Junior league … Plays a smart two-way game … (100 – 150)
  4. Emil Bemstrom – Put up 21 goals in 28 games in the SuperElit league …  Has a late birthday June, 1, 99 … Speedy skater …  Despite his size he’s willing to go in the corners … (100 – 150)
  5. Joni Ikonen – Ranked 73rd by Future Considerations … 5’10 RHS Center born April, 14th, 99 …  Nice shot, above-average skating, defensively responsible … Plays a gritty physical game … Size is a concern …  Sometimes overhandles the puck … (100 – 150)
  6. Alexandre Texier:  One of the youngest players in the draft Sept, 13, 99 …  He’s 6′ tall … Plays in the France Elite league against men and former NHL prospects …  In the playoffs he scored 9 points in 10 games …  Skating is a plus he’s quick …  Offensive upside … Been rated as a mid-late round selection … Most recent France prospect was Da Costa who put up 23 points in 9 games in his pre-draft season (he played in the NAHL in his draft year) in U18.  Texier’s numbers were 70 points in 17 games!  … (150 – 200)
  7. Jesse Koskenkorva:  Two-way center … Above average speed … Ranked 26th by Central Scouting mid-term … Averaged a PPG in top Finnish junior league … He’s 6′ tall so a little below average … 5th/6th round (150-200)
  8. Kirill Slepets:  Highly skilled small forward … Projected to be a mid-round pick … Skating is a plus … Would like to see a little more offense – (150 – 200)
  9. Fabian Zetterlund – Late birthday Aug, 25, 1999 .. Short but stocky and strong … Has a hard acurate shot …  Smart, hard-working forward … (150 – 200)
  10. Jonas Røndbjerg – Plays a responsible two-way game … High hockey IQ …The Dane played in Sweden’s junior league this year … Not overly big (6′) and would like a little more offense … (150 – 200)
  11. Tim Wahlgren – Wahlgren is an overager (March, 8, 98) I had him rated as a 4th/5th round grade last year.  He’s a (6’1) two-way player that put up decent numbers in the SuperElite the past two seasons and an intelligent forward.  … (150 – 200)
  12. Jakub Lacka: Smart player with good speed … RHS winger small winger (5’10) … The Slovakian was born Nov. 20th, 1998 & split year between Czech U18 & U20 league …  Averaged 2 PPG in the U18  … Likely a late round pick (150 – 200)
  13. Patrik Hrehorcak:  5’10 Slovakian playing in the Czech U20 …  Good offensive numbers 55 points in 42 games … Smooth skater with good offensive instincts … Potential mid-late round pick (150 – 200)
  14. Lauri Pajuniemi:  Slighly below average for size (5’11) … Would like a little more offense … Very young (Sept. 12, 1999) … Smooth skaking skill forward with solid puck skills … Potential late round pick (150 – 200)
  15. Filip Krivosik:  Big Slovakian (6’4) playing in his 3rd country (Slovakia, Czech & Finland) in three seasons …  He has decent offense … Plays a physical game … Doesn’t have high-end offense but could be a complementary player … May only be a checking forward … (150 – 200)
  16. Emil Oksanen: Older draft eligible player born Sept, 25, 1998 … Average size (6’1) … Skilled winger good offensive upside, good shot …  Played in Mestis league a Semi-Pro league in Finland … Needs some work defensively and is a bit raw but good upside (150-200)
  17. Emil Westerlund … Overager, born Feb, 16, 98 … Committed to Univ of Maine … Can chip in with the odd goal (27 goals in 42 games) and plays with speed … Likely a bottom six player … (200 – 250)
  18. Oskar Stål Lyrenäs – Overager (March, 23, 98).  Averaged .78 PPG in SuperElit league last season.  Doesn’t bring much offense. (200 – 250)
  19. Pavel Shen:  Small forward – 5’9 with a late birthday … Close to a PPG (.97) in the MHL … Did not play in international tournaments … Possibly a late round pick (200 – 250)
  20. Filip Sveningsson – More of a goal-scorer than a passer … I little on the smaller side 6′ .. Likely a late round selection if he’s drafted … Needs to improve defensively and consistancy …  (200 – 250)
  21. Thomas Reichell:  Big center (6’3) … Likely a late-round pick or will be passed over … Offensive production is behing players like Tobias Reider & Tomas Kuhnhackl at similar ages.  He compares to former Flyer pick Noebels & Penguins pick Frederick Tiffelsin terms of production … (200 – 250)
  22. Georgi Ivanov:  He’s ranked a couple of reports to be a mid-round pick …  He brings below average offense … He’s 6′ and is one of the older 1st year draft eligible prospects (Sept, 25, 98) …  He plays a gritty two-way game, likely a bottom six player(200-250)
  23. Daniil Skorikov:  Not much details about this player … He’s 6’3 winger with average/below average offense … Ranked 23rd by Central Scouting Mid-Term rankings … Potential late round pick (200 – 250)
  24. Razat Timirov:  Below Average size (5’11) … Skilled forward with decent offense … Long shot to get drafted (200 – 250)
  25. Erik Smolka:  Not much scouting report but decent numbers and good size … Scored 1.42 PPG in Slovakian U20 league … 98 Born (Nov) … Good size 6’2 … Likely undrafted (200 – 250)
  26. Marek Skvrne:  Small center (5’11) from Czech Rep … Can play a chippy game and he’s a leader  … Offense is a little shy but similar to Columbus draft pick Lukas Sedlak … Potential late round pick. (150 – 200)
  27. Pavel Voronkov:  He’s average size or sligly below average … He’s solid positionally and has good hockey sense … Good offensive instincts and could be a scoring forward … Oct. 98 birthday … (150 – 200)

Additional Sites:

European Top Nine Forwards – 2017 NHL Draft

Elias Pettersson (5 – 15)

  • DOB: 1998-11-12 / H: 6’2 / POS: C/LW / Nation: Sweden / League:  Allsvenskan
  • Smart player, plays a complete game needs to put some muscle on his 6’2 frame.  Doesn’t have elite skating but is a good offensive weapon.
  • Elite Prospects: A crafty and agile two-way forward, Pettersson is consistently productive in all three zones. As he gets stronger, he’ll become even more physical and aggressive than he is now, and his creativity could definitely elevate his game to dominant levels. He can be described as a tenacious, jack-of-all-trades kind of player; he is well versed in all the important aspects of his own game. His speed and top-end acceleration continue to improve game by game, and his hard-nosedness shows through in his dogged pursuit of puck control. Elias Pettersson is a complete hockey player that brings intellect and youthful exuberance to a game that feeds on his kind of exciting athleticism.

Lias Andersson  (10 – 25)

  • DOB: 1998-10-13 / POS: C/LW / H: 5’11 / Nation: Sweden / League: SHL
  • His offensive numbers are good compared to recent players drafted out of the SHL (Zibanejad, Fiala, Eriksson-Ek & Vranaa), he also plays a good two-way game.  He might not have high-end upside but he projects as a safe two-way player.  The two concerns are size and his also a late birthday.
  • TSN: He’s quick, fast, determined and skilled and can play all three positions up front. A Swiss (or Swedish) Army knife-type player who’s very adaptable and coaches will love.

Martin Necas (10-25)

  • DOB: 1999-01-15 / H: 6’1 / S: R / POS: C / Nation: Czech / League: Czech-Elite
  • Necas plays a complete game he’s a fast, skilled right-handed center with decent size (6’1) and not afraid to go to the hard areas of the ice.  He’s playing in the Czech pro league against men and putting up .37 PPG.  There’s not too many Czech league forwards selected in the first round in the past 10 years but his numbers are ahead of Michael Frolik & Jiri Tlusty who were drafted back in 06.
  • Necas impressed scouts with both his effort and ability to get involved in everything. This guy gets after it. Not the biggest player on the ice, but makes up for it with his creativity and hard work. –Jeff Marek, Wyshynski and Marek Podcast

Klim Kostin (10 – 25)

  • DOB: 1999-05-05 / POS: RW / H: 6’3 / Nation: Russian / League: KHL
  • Big, skilled winger that entered the year as a potential top 5 pick.  Hasn’t had a successful year in KHL/VHL with only 1 goal in 17 games.  But the fact that he has been playing in the KHL and he’s a late birthday is a positive.  I think skill-wise and size he’s in the range with Guryanov, but behind Nichushkin or Tarasenko.
  • Last Word On Sports:  Kostin has the strength and size to play a powerful game, as he is strong on the puck; effective in maintaining possession down low; and difficult to contain when he drives the net. His skating shows excellent speed, balance and power. He is also highly skilled, with soft hands and excellent stickhandling ability; a fantastic wrist shot and release; along with good vision and passing skills. Kostin plays a gritty game, not afraid to get to the front of the net, or battle for loose pucks at both ends of the ice. He could stand to be a little more selfish, and shoot the puck more as he often looks to make a pass.

Marcus Davidsson (25 – 45)

  • DOB: 1998-11-18 / H: 6′ / POS: C/W / S: L / Nation: Sweden / League: SHL
  • Had 10 points in 9 games in the Swedish SuperElite league.  Models his game after Landeskog.  Button had him ranked 3rd entering the season.
  • Craig Button TSN:   Determined centre who gets involved in all of the critical areas of the game. Very good skater with power and he uses it to his advantage with and without the puck. Excellent sense and awareness and makes plays that threaten opponents and creates opportunities. Plays with confidence and has the ability to utilize the skills and talents of those around him.

Kristian Vesalainen (25 – 45)

  • DOB: 1999-06-01 / POS: LW/RW / H: 6’3 / S: L / NATION: Finland / League: SHL
  • Vesalainen entered the year as a potential top 10 pick, now there’s a chance he slips outside the first round.  He has good size but needs to play a smarter game.  He has been playing in against men in the SHL.  However, his numbers in International tournaments and the Swedish junior league (4 points in 10 games) aren’t overly impressive.
  • Finn Prospects:  Vesalainen is hard worker, plays solid passing game, forechecks well, doesn’t shy away in physical battles and is impressive at the defensive zone for a player of his age. His offensive talent most likely prevents him to become elite player but he should have bright future ahead in two-way role.

Lucas Elvenes  (30 – 60)

  • DOB: 1999-08-18 / H: 6′ / POS: RW / S: L / NATION: Sweden / League: SuperElit
  • High end offensive ability.  Solid offensive numbers inthe SuperElite league.  On the small side.  Late birthday.  Rated 51st by McKenzie in his mid-season rankings.  Excellent puck skills.  Above average hockey IQ.
  • The Draft Analyst: A jack-of-all-trades kind of forward, Elvenes played in every situation, to include manning the point on the power play. He’s a key figure for Rogle’s J20 squad (Superelit), and his two-way play was certainly on display. He showed patience off of defensive-zone draw wins, calmly waiting for things in front of him to properly align. When he didn’t see something he liked, he peeled back and re-engaged with a successful breakout. On several occasions, Elvenes made world-class set-ups, including one occasion when he dished a sweet behind-the-back feed from below the goal line while cutting against the grain in a 3-1 win against Russia. Elvenes uses excellent footwork to skate himself into an area with open lanes to attack, and he’s consistent with pass accuracy whether dishing it hard or soft. He plays with his head up, and the timing on passes are excellent.

Alex Lipanov (30 – 60)

  • DOB: 1999-08-17 / H: 6′ / POS: C / S: L / Nation: Russia / League: VHL
  • Put up solid numbers at international tournaments but didn’t produce much during the regular season.  Fast playmaking center that is responsible in his own end.  He has a late birthday August 17th.
  • The Hockey News – Ryan Kennedy:  I haven’t had a chance to write about Lipanov since the World Jr. A Challenge happened in Alberta, but he was awesome there. Not only did he center a potent line with 2018 draft titan Andrei Svechnikov, but Lipanov was also a dogged penalty-killer and all-details player for Russia.

Ostap Safin (45-75)

  • DOB: 1999-02-11 / H: 6’4 / POS: F / S: L / NATION: Czech / League: CzechU20
  • He has solid potential.  He’s a big player that seemed to regressed a little this season, but is having a good playoffs.  He’s got a good shot and could be a goal scorer.  He’s a little behind where players like Frolik, Hertl were when they were drafted.  Right now he’s maybe a late second or early third round pick.
  • EliteProspect: A competitive, 200-foot player that can fit in a power or finesse role. Skates very well, with balance and noteworthy speed, and handles the puck with ease and control at top speeds. Displays a dangerously accurate shot that he is never hesitant to use; always a threat in the offensive zone. Uses his frame well, to protect the puck, as well as to impose physically upon the opposition. Defensively stable and actively cuts off passing and shooting lanes. Could be more creative, but is more of a straight-line player. Potential is that of a top six forward that can complement similarly high-caliber players. (Curtis Joe, EP 2016)


European Defense

NHL Draft 2017 European Defenseman Take 1.

Timothy Liljegren

DOB:     1999-04-30
Height: 6′
Shoots: Right
League: SHL

  • The Swedish defenseman entered the year as a potential top three pick and he’s fallen a bit due to injury.
  • TSN: Scouts say his offensive game is far more developed than his defensive game. He is an elite skater, both in terms of speed and agility, and adept at running a power play. He is seen as both a puck mover and an offensive point producer. No one is suggesting he’s the next Erik Karlsson, not by any means, but scouts say he has some of the same qualities and, therefore, has the potential to be projected as a possible top pairing defenceman in time.
  • Future Considerations:  An active, offensive-minded rearguard who likes the puck on his stick…skates with strong fluidity and agility, getting from one point to the next effortlessly as his feet always seem to be in motion…can take the puck end-to-end a la Erik Karlsson…his offensive IQ is off the charts as is his creativity…makes strong breakout passes to move along the attack to his forwards before jumping into the play himself…has a strong wrist shot that is quick off his blade, strong and accurate, and he gets some solid velocity on his slap shot…continually reading the play and moving as he tries to be in strong position to contribute as an option when not in possession of the puck himself…can be a high-risk, high-reward guy as he does take chances that can lead to turnovers here or there…a game-breaker…projected as a top-pairing offensive NHL defenseman.

Miro Heiskanen

DOB: 1999-07-18
Height: 6’0″
NATION: Finland
Shoots: L
League:  Finland Liiga

  • Small smooth-skating puck moving defenseman, likely to be drafted in the middle of the first round.
  • Last Word on Sports: He has very good skating ability. Heiskanen has good speed and acceleration in both directions. He also has the agility and edgework to make quick pivots and transition from defence to offence, or vice-versa. He is also a good passer, and can start the rush or make plays on the point on the powerplay.  Heiskanen could stand to be a bit more physical; as well as work on his slap shot.
  • Finnish Junior Hockey: He is an exceptional skater with excellent puck skills and smarts. His ability to process the game with the puck is at a very high level. Also, a positive thing to notice is that he has got bigger since last season, now being listed at 6’0. Gaining additional muscle will help him to be more effective in board battles and in front of the net. I consider him a Top 10 pick and the best Finnish prospect for this year’s draft. The fact that he is excelling in a men’s league – at the age of 17 – is remarkable.

Erik Brannstrom

DOB: 1999-09-02
Height: 5’10
Nation: Sweden
Shoots: L
League:  SHL/SuperElit

  • Brannstrom is a player that could slip into the first round if not higher.  Ryan Kennedy compared him to Kimmo Timonen.  He was averaging more than a PPG on his junior team before getting called up to the SHL.  He’s likely to be drafted in the second half of round one.
  • The Draft Analyst:  A high-IQ rearguard displays ridiculous puck skills while running his team’s offense. Erik Brannstrom may lack the height you would want in a top-end puck mover, but every other area is drool worthy. He owns a cannon of a shot, carries the puck with anger and confidence, and can hold his own in one-on-one situations. Brannstrom does everything quick and hard — passes, shots, checks — and his international resume is stellar.

Urho Vaakanainen (D)

DOB: 1999-01-01
Height: 6’1
Nation: Finland
Shoots: Left
League:  Finland Liiga

  • Vaakanainen is a smart all-around defenseman, who is responsible in his own end.  Likely doesn’t have the high end upside of Brannstrom, Heiskanen or Liljegren but seems like a safer pick.  He’s likely a late first round pick.
  • Last Word On Sports: Vaakanainen has excellent hockey IQ. He reads the play very well in both the offensive and defensive ends of the ice. He chooses to make the smart plays both with and without the puck. Defensively he has great gap control and positioning. He also can skate the puck out of danger in his own zone, and start the transition game with a good first pass. Offensively he has a hard accurate shot, and the vision to be a play maker from the blue line. He will likely never be a huge offensive contributor, but can score a bit. Overall his game is well rounded.
  • Yahoo Sports:  Scouts Take:  “Our guys find Urho as a quick-thinking two-way defenseman who shows a lot of poise in his game when he’s working on advancing the puck, and no panic when it comes to defending off the rush. He’s smooth in most facets of the game, and while he isn’t flashy, does possess plenty of upside.”

Robin Salo

DOB: 1998-10-13
Nationality: Finland
Height: 6′
Shoots: L
League:  Finland Liiga

  • He’s a late birthday, but playing in a pro league in Europe and logging an estimated 20 minutes.  His lack of high end offensive ability might drop him into the second round.
  • Sportsnet: A calm, solid defender. Currently sitting out a three-game suspension for a knee-on-knee hit.
  • Finn Prospects:  Salo is not the flashiest player on ice but his defensive skills are impressive for a player of his age. He already looks solid in men’s league, positions himself well and even shows some grit and willingness to play physical game. However Salo could add some power to his skating as he seems bit slow at times. While his offensive skills are somewhat limited, he is capable of decent passing play …

Filip Westerlund
DOB: 1999-04-17 / H: 5’11 / S: R / League: SHL

  • Small calm d-man with good offensive instincts has been compared to Sami Vatanen.  Should be picked in the second round.
  • Elite Prospects: Westerlund is a defenseman who stands out with his vision and puck control. Plays a calm, cerebral game and can hit forwards with long passes from the backend. Defensively, there is room for improvement given his hockey IQ. Also, his skating could use some work, especially his first few steps. Isn’t that agile yet, either.

Tobias Geisser

  • DOB: 1999-02-13 / H: 6’4 / S: L / Nation: Swiss / League: Swiss-Elit & Swiss-Junior / PPG .29
  • Geisser is a big defenseman likely going to be a stay-at-home defender.   Projected as a 3rd round pick.
  • The Draft Analyst: Tobias Geisser has slowly developed into a reliable defender with top-four upside, and he uses his long reach and active stick to make up for a lack of upper-body strength.

Jakub Galvas (D)

  • DOB: 1999-06-15 / H: 5’11 / S: L /  Nation: Czech / League: Czech / PPG: .17
  • Galvas is an offensive defender who is playing in the Czech league against players old enough to be his dad.  Actually, he plays against his father Lukas Galvas this season.  He’s played well in international tournaments this season.  Right now he’s projected as a mid-late round pick.

David Kvasnicka (D)

  • DOB: 1999-04-14 / H: 5’10 / S: L / League: Czech / PPG:.13
  • Kvasnicka is a small, smart, smooth skating offensive defender.  Was averaging over a PPG in the U20 Czech league.  He has good vision and puck moving ability.  Projected to be selected in mid-late round.

Radim Salda (D)

  • DOB: 1999-02-18 / H: 6′ / S: L / League: Czech-U20 / PPG .43
  • Smooth skating power play defenseman with an excellent shot.  Projected to be a mid-late round pick.

Martin Bodak (D)

  • DOB: 1998-11-28 / H: 6’1 / S: R / League: Jr. A Liiga / PPG: .35
  • Bodak is a right hand defenseman from Slovakia playing in Finnish junior league.  He’s a late birthday.  Bodak has good vision and mobility but has limited offensive upside and is likely to peak as more of defensive defender.

Venyamin Baranov (D)

  • DOB: 1999-01-08 / H: 6’1 / S: l / League: MHL / PPG .30
  • Baranov is strong in his own end, has decent size and has good playmaking ability.  Was drafted first in the KHL draft.  He’s likely a late round selection.


  1. Otto Latvala – Big (6’5) defenseman with a late birthday (May, 14th, 1999) although he doesn’t project to be an offensive defender he put up numbers in the Finnish junior league.  Needs to improve skating.
  2. Gustav Lindström- 6’2 RHS D, late birthday – Oct. 20, 1998, his uncle is former Sharks dman Magnus Ragnarsson, good offensive instincts.
  3. Simon Johansson – Late birthday (June), good size (6’2) right hand shot defenseman with decent point totals (.54 PPG) in the SuperElit league.
  4. Anton Bjorkman – Small (5’11) defenseman that is playing in the SHL but doesn’t bring much offense.
  5. Jonatan Asplund – Big (6’3), LHS dman with decent offensive numbers (.39 PPG) in the SuperElit game.
  6. Dmitri Rodionychev – Stay at home defenseman playing in the KHL as an 18 year-old.  Doesn’t bring much offense.
  7. Gustav Jäderberg – Second draft year (born May, 98) he’s got decent size and putting up alright number (.50 PPG) in the SuperElit league.
  8. August Berg – Small right hand shot defenseman with good offense.

QMJHL Forwards – 2017

Nico Hischier (C) – DOB: 1999-01-04 – H: 6’1

  • The Hockey Writers:  Hischier is a very smooth skater that moves around the ice with ease. He is very agile and can make fast turns if needed. He shows decent top speed and is willing to backcheck. He is looking for opponents in the own zone and plays a decent defensive game. Although he is playing a sound defensive game, he really excels best in the offensive zone. Hischier is a very skilled playmaker and has soft hands. He is a good puckhandler and has a very well developed understanding of the game.
  • McKeen’s:  “He can beat you in so many ways,” says Halifax Mooseheads head coach Andre Tourigny. “He can beat you with faceoffs. he can beat you with defensive play. He’s really, really proud of his defence, he can beat you with his work ethic, his intensity, his skill, he can beat you on the rush. He can beat you on the power play, he can beat you on the PK. He’s a really complete player. I compare him a lot to Henrik Zetterberg when he was in his prime. When you were playing against him he was always efficient in every area of the game.”

Antoine Morand (C) – DOB: 1999-02-18 – H: 5’9

  • Sportsnet: Not the biggest centre in the draft by any stretch (5-foot-9), but Morand compensates at the junior level with high end speed and a motor that doesn’t stop.

Joël Teasdale (C) -DOB: 1999-03-11 – H: 5’11

  • HF Boards:  He just always seems to be in a good spot, he is very involved, makes smart plays both offensively and defensively. Very good skating and although he isnt dominant offensively (yet), you can tell he has every tool. He can shoot, he can pass, he can dangle, and he protects the puck extremely well.

Samuel Bucek (LW) – DOB: 1998-12-19 – H: 6’3

  • Draft Site: Strong lanky winger with some scoring touch. More of a North-South skater who seems to be around the action. Drives the front and also finishes his checks. He must develop more lateral mobility and improve offensive game. Good hands and push. Needs time to develop.

Maxime Comtois (LW) – 1999-01-08 – H: 6’2

  • Sportsnet:  In ‘Victo,’ they asked him to play a more physical game, and he adapted. It took him a couple of months, but he really came around. He reminds me of Rick Nash at the same age, although he’s ahead of where Nash was as a skater. Blake Wheeler is another comparable

Ivan Chekhovich (LW/C) DOB: 1999-01-04 – H: 5’10

  • Mike Mackley:  Ivan Chekhovich is an undersized, skilled winger with a nose for the net. Possessing an explosive first step and above average straight line speed, Chekhovich displays impressive edge work and strong change of pace and direction abilities, which make him tough to contain in open ice. A dynamic puck handler, who can make plays while playing at a high pace, Chekhovich also boasts deceptively good vision and playmaking abilities despite being a shot first player. Chekhovich may be slightly undersized but he shows little hesitance to drive the net with authority, protecting the puck well in the process. Chekhovich’s speed and puck skills allow’s him to back off defenders and create space for his offensive traits to take over. While Chekhovich has some rounding out to do on both sides of the puck, he does possess intrigue as an offensive minded winger.

Pavel Koltygin (LW) – DOB: 1999-02-17 – H: 6′

  • Dobber Prospects:  A versatile forward with the skills to boot, Koltygin is off to a hot start with six points in his first five CHL games. It isn’t a big surprise, seeing as how the ninth overall Import Draft selection played in the U18 MHL last year. But, it is definitely a good sign going forward. The Voltigeur center was recently described by Drummondville General Manager Dominique Ducharme as being “very strong on the puck, hard to stop when he gets going”

On The Radar

Denis Mikhnin (RW)
Yaroslav Alexeyev (LW)
Derek Gentile (C)

Kris Russell

I wanted to take a quick look at Kris Russell’s stats with his defense pairings and compared to his defense partner’s and the Flames as a team for the past 3 seasons.  To see if Kris Russell was the black hole defenseman that the analytics community has said that he was.

The team’s 5×5 stats for the Flames for the past three seasons as per

Team GF60 GA60 GF% SF60 SA60 SF% FF60 FA60 FF% CF60 CA60 CF%
CAL 2.2 2.48 46.9 26.5 28.8 47.9 37 41.1 47.3 51 59.2 46.3

Russell played 3875 minutes in the past three seasons with the Flames and Stars.  The majority of the minutes were with the Flames so we will look at the Flames team.

Player Pos GF60 GA60 GF% CF60 CA60 CF%
RUSSELL, KRIS D 2.65 2.6 50.4 50.4 64.58 43.8 100.0%
WIDEMAN, DENNIS D 2.88 2.59 52.7 52.41 66.14 44.2 47.3%
HAMILTON, DOUGIE D 1.93 2.47 43.9 49.98 61.16 45 14.4%
BRODIE, TJ D 2.47 2.02 55 46.12 60.63 43.2 13.8%
BUTLER, CHRIS D 1.82 2.6 41.2 45.68 69.82 39.6 11.9%
ENGELLAND, DERYK D 3.33 2.22 60 46.21 68.38 40.3 4.2%
GOLIGOSKI, ALEX D 5.12 5.12 50 54.63 64.88 45.7 2.7%
GIORDANO, MARK D 2.61 3.92 40 49.64 62.7 44.2 1.2%

Here’s a chart that shows the % of time Russell has played with over the coarse of the past three seasons.  He’s played predominately with Wideman.

WOWY Impact

Here is a chart that shows the GoalsFor and CorsiFor WOWY and the positive and negative impact that Russell had on his defense partner for the past three seasons.

Teamate GF% CF% GF% CF% GF Impact CF Impact
WIDEMAN 48.3 43.5 39.6 44.1 8.7 -0.6
HAMILTON 51.3 43.6 53.1 54.5 -1.8 -10.9
BRODIE 49.8 43.9 49.8 49.4 0 -5.5
BUTLER 51.5 44.4 44 46.3 7.5 -1.9
ENGELLAND 50 44 41 43.3 9 0.7
GOLIGOSKI 50.5 43.8 54.3 53 -3.8 -9.2
GIORDAN 50.6 43.8 50.5 50.6 0.1 -6.8

The CF% impact is horrible.  Out of the 7 defenseman that Russell played 45+ minutes with in the past three seasons only Engelland had less Corsi events.  However, you need to keep in mind these are three year averages.  Hamilton played with Zdeno Chara (38% of his 5×5 minutes) and their CF% was 56.3% while with the Bruins.  Goligoski has played over 65% of the time with John Klingberg the past two seasons with a GF% of 57.7 & CF% of 55.5 while playing with him.

In the past four seasons 167 Defenseman have played 2000+ minutes  in the NHL 5×5 Kris Russel ranks 161st in CF%, 154th in SF% but he was 84th for GF%.  The GF bump was due to a PDO bump in 2014-15.

How Much of an Impact Did Not Playing With Giordano Have on Kris Russell?

Russell has played nearly three seasons with the Flames and has played only 45 minutes with, in my opinion, the teams best player Mark Giordano.  The team’s shot rates are higher when Giordano is on the ice.  With Giordano on the ice, whom Russel did not play with, the Flames had a CF of 50.6.  Without, Giordano the Flames were 45.1 and Russell’s number is 43.8.  Still below, the team average but is not out of line with the rest of the team’s performance without Girodano.

Giordano has the biggest impact for defenseman on his teams Corsi.  Here is the CF% RelTM (Corsi For % relative to Teamates).

Player Name Team CF% TMCF% CF% RelTM
GIORDANO, MARK Calgary 50.5 45.1 5.3
STRALMAN, ANTON Tampa 55.9 50.6 5.2
KARLSSON, ERIK Ottawa 53 47.9 5.1
CAMPBELL, BRIAN Florida 53.3 48.9 4.4
SMITH, BRENDAN Detroit 55.5 51.1 4.4
MUZZIN, JAKE Los_Angeles 58.8 54.5 4.3
LINDHOLM, HAMPUS Anaheim 53.2 49.4 3.9
HEDMAN, VICTOR Tampa 55 51.1 3.9
SUBBAN, P.K. Montreal 51.4 47.6 3.8
GARDINER, JAKE Toronto 49.9 46.2 3.7

In the past three season’s Mark Giordano & Kris Russell have played just over 31% of their teams minutes and have not played together.  Are we certain that Russell is a bad defenseman or are the Flames a bad team when Giordano (and to a certain extent TJ Brodie) are not on the ice?

The Flames were a tire fire when Giordano wasn’t on the ice.  Only two teams had a CF% of worse than 45 in the past three seasons Colorado and Buffalo.  So obviously, Russell not playing with Giordano impacted his shot rates. How much is another question?

When Russell played with Giordano & Brodie his CF% didn’t increase.  Although you could say that it might be due to the Lefty/Lefty issue.  Although it seems to work out alright for Brodie & Gio.

However, Russell also didn’t differentiate himself from the 5-6 defenseman.  In fact the CF% is slightly less.  Although, Russell was playing higher level of competition.  The Flames played their bottom pairing defenseman fewer 15 minutes game and sheltered minutes.

Why is Russell playing so much?

This I do not understand.  In each of the past three seasons Kris Russell has finished top 15 in Even Strength TOI.  Prior, to that season Russell played under 15 minutes the previous two seasons with St. Louis.

How Did He Play Before Calgary?


Player Name CF% TMCF% CF% RelTM
SHATTENKIRK, KEVIN 55.5 50.2 5.2
PIETRANGELO, ALEX 52.3 51.6 0.7
COLE, IAN 52.1 52.4 -0.3
RUSSELL, KRIS 51.1 51.8 -0.7
POLAK, ROMAN 50 52.7 -2.7
LEOPOLD, JORDAN 48.6 48.2 0.4
BOUWMEESTER, JAY 48.5 49.9 -1.4
JACKMAN, BARRET 46.6 54.6 -8


Player Name CF% TMCF% CF% RelTM
COLE, IAN 55.1 52.6 2.5
SHATTENKIRK, KEVIN 54.2 51.6 2.5
COLAIACOVO, CARLO 53.9 53.1 0.7
JACKMAN, BARRET 52.6 53.1 -0.5
RUSSELL, KRIS 51.9 51.8 0.1
HUSKINS, KENT 51.4 53.2 -1.8
POLAK, ROMAN 49.8 54.1 -4.3

To me those numbers don’t scream ‘black hole’, Russell isn’t a guy that can drive the offense but he can hold his own by those numbers.  It must be noted that he was playing third pairing and in a a sheltered role.

How did he play after he left Calgary?

Here’s the Dallas Stars Defensemen Numbers this Past Season

Player CF% FF% SF% xGF% SCF% GF%
ALEX.GOLIGOSKI 53.68 53.07 53.84 52.16 51.52 55.4
JAMIE.OLEKSIAK 50.48 54.55 54.3 55.64 51.67 35.29
JASON.DEMERS 54.17 54.28 53.5 55.4 53.54 52.24
JOHN.KLINGBERG 55.59 53.83 55.12 54.29 54.35 57.5
JOHNNY.ODUYA 50.68 50.74 50.12 51.14 46.92 46.39
JORDIE.BENN 48.83 49.53 49.94 49.27 47.83 50
JYRKI.JOKIPAKKA 50.34 49.31 49.31 49.58 51.35 51.06
KRIS.RUSSELL 50.52 56 57.89 52.27 48.21 53.57
PATRIK.NEMETH 51.81 53.29 52.19 53.7 47.26 48.39

Russell’s numbers don’t look out of line with most of these players.  Klingberg was the best defenseman.  I’d say that Russell is behind Jason Demers and Alex Goligoski but those players have signed long term deal 5 Year deals.  Demers carrying a 4.5 million dollar cap hit with a NTC.   Goligoski with a 5.475 million dollar cap hit and a NMC.  I think that you could make a good case that Russell performed better than Johnny Oduya who will be 35 at the start of this season and has a 3.75 million dollar cap hit with a modified NTC.

Is Kris Russell the Next Andrew Ference?

One of the things I’ve heard is that with Russell’s game he could become the next Ference.

The problem with that is, the Oiler’s signed Ference as a 34 year-old to a 4 year deal and Russell will likely sign a 1 year deal and is only 29.  From ages 29 – 33 Ference played 288 games and averaged over 19 minutes a night.  If the Oiler’s sign Russell to a reasonable contract and get the level of play that Ference provided the Bruins then it will be a helluva deal for the Oiler’s.

Player Age GP
Kris Russell 29 573
Andrew Ference 34 760

What Would You Expect from Russell?

He shouldn’t be a featured player in a top 4 role, but he can contribute as a depth player that can play within the top 4 in a pinch.  If a team could lower his TOI/G he might be a more effective player.  Offensively he’s put up .55 – .75 PPG, which would be ahead of most Oiler defenders.

Should the Oilers Sign Him?

First, I think that you have to way the good and the bad.

The Good

  • Russell is an actual NHL defender.  Although he’s critic’d by the analytics croud, he has been trusted to play 20+ minutes by his coaches.
  • He is at this moment a better defenseman than the Oiler’s currently have employed and penciled in their top six.
  • It would allow the team to send Nurse & Reinhart to the AHL for some seasoning.
  • It would allow the Oiler’s some depth when injury occurs.
  • The Oiler’s could flip him at/near the deadline if the defense core is healthy and Reinhart/Nurse or the field are ready to push for playing time.

The Bad

  • If you think he’s a legit top 4 defenseman, you will be disappointed.  I think he could anchor a decent bottom pairing.
  • If the Oiler’s sign Versteeg & Russell they are close to the roster limit.  It will be roughly 47 players.  Which doesn’t allow much wiggle room to add players or sign college free agents at the end of the season.  Not a huge issue but something to keep in mind.
  • The money.  How much will it cost?  That’s the key.

How Much?

  • If you are the Oiler’s you would want him in the 1 – 2 million dollar range.
  • I think more realistically the 2 – 3 million dollar range is what he should be signing.
  • I would consider going in the 3.5 million dollar range only because that’s what Oduya is getting and it would only be a 1 year deal.
  • Anything about 4 million should be avoided.

What Would I Do?

  • If Russell would sign for 2.5 million, I would do it.  Anything above that number, I would look at signing a player like Gryba (provided that he would want to come back) and look at the waiver wire for potential upgrade.  I think a guy like Ryan Sproul might be a good target for the Oilers.


OHL Forwards – 2017

Watch List for the OHL season.  There is no current rankings just notes.

Gabriel Vilardi (C)    Windsor Spitfires   – DOB: 1999-08-16 – H: 6’2

  • As of Sept 14th he was ranked 3rd by Hockey Prospect, Future Considerations & Craig Button
  • Last Word on Sports:  He uses his size to shield the puck and maintain possession in the cycle game, and uses his powerful stride to fight through checks and drive the net. Vilardi has a very long reach and excellent puck handling ability. He uses these assets to extend plays and wait for teammates to get open, before hitting them with a pass. Vilardi is constantly moving and getting involved in the play. He is extremely gritty and involved in battles along the boards, and in front of the net. The power forward prospect also has a very good wrist shot.

Owen Tippett (RW)    Mississauga Steelheads  – DOB: 1999-02-16 – H: 6’1

  • Tippett is goal-scorer with good size and patterns his game after Stamkos.
  • Dobber Prospects: Tippett is a speedster with an explosive first step and a high-end top gear that allows him to fly up the ice. His shot is equally quick in both his release and its velocity.

Matthew Strome (LW)    Hamilton Bulldogs    – DOB: 1999-01-06 – H: 6’3

  • The Hockey Writers:  He uses his size, strength, and speed to drive the net and create scoring chances. He is also active in board battles, playing a more physical game. The elite hockey IQ of his brothers is also in his game, playing a smart, 200-foot game.

Nicholas Suzuki (C)    Owen Sound Attack   – DOB: 1999-08-10 – H: 5’10

  • McKeen’s Brandon Ross:  Nice to see this highly intelligent center have an outstanding final tournament …. lifted them to victory showing elite defensive skills to force a turnover and elite offensive skills to capitalize the other way.

Austen Keating (C)    Ottawa 67’s    DOB: 1999-03-07 – H: 5’11

  • “He sees the ice really well and has a great shot, He’s definitely ready for the next level and has what it takes,” Guelph Gryphons Minor Midget AAA coach Ryan Black

Ivan Lodnia (RW)    Erie Otters  – DOB: 1999-08-31 – H: 5’10

  • US Hockey Report – A highly-talented two-way forward who has great speed, hands, and creativity.

Alexander Chmelevski (C)    Sarnia Sting    – DOB: 1999-06-09 – H: 5’11

  • OHL Prospect: Chmelevski is a dynamic offensive player who has blazing speed and dazzling puck skill. He put that well on display at the Hlinka, where he led the US to silver, capturing the tournament’s leading scorer award.

Isaac Ratcliffe (LW)    Guelph Storm    OHL – DOB: 1999-02-15 – H: 6’4

  •  “Ratcliffe is an exciting player. He’s almost six-five but skates like someone five-five. He’s got a beautiful stride on him,” Storm head scout Chris McCleary said.

Robert Thomas (C)    London Knights – DOB:  1999-07-02 H: 5’10

  • Played a regular shift on a deep Knights team last year.  Per London Free Press:  Hunter likes Thomas’ vision, speed, hockey sense and ability to pass the puck. Thomas also fulfills a real need the Knights have had since Bo Horvat graduated to the Vancouver Canucks.

Ben Jones (C) Niagra Ice Dogs – DOB: 1999-02-26 H: 6′

  • OntarioHockeyLeague – Ben is a big centreman who can score goals. He’s a good skater that handles the puck well. He has good vision and uses his teammates well. Ben has a good hard shot that he can get off quickly and accurately. He becomes a very dangerous player when he’s within 15 feet of the net. He’s not an overly physical player but will go into the dirty areas to get the puck. He will also take out his man and work hard for pucks in the corners. Ben uses his points well when he has the puck in the corner.

Greg Meireles (C) – Kitchener Rangers – DOB: 1999-01-01 H: 5’10

  • – An elite skater that can set the pace with just one stride, Meireles has fantastic vision that allows him to make a play way before any opposing defensemen have a chance to counteract his actions. His release from his wrist shot is absolutely mesmerizing, and in no matter what capacity he attempts, he always seems to find a way to get the puck into the back of the net.

MacAuley Carson (LW) – Sudbury Wolves – DOB: 1999-03-12 H: 6’1

  •  Sudbury Star: “I think Macauley Carson plays a pro-style game, a physical, boisterous game, hard on the forecheck,” Mark Seidel, (North American Central Scouting) said. “There’s a bit of an issue with his skating, but I think with the way he plays and how much energy he shows I think there’s a spot for him and I think by the end of the year, he will be an NHL draft pick.

MacKenzie Entwistle (C/RW) DOB: 1999-07-14 – H: 6’3

  • Rick Zamperin:  Mackenzie is a big forward who contributes at both ends of the rink. He competes hard every shift and uses his size to his advantage to play a physical game. He has all the tools to become a strong player in the OHL. He’s a good skater for his size that gets up to speed quickly. He is aggressive on the puck and is a good forechecker. He has good hands and can find the back of the net. He can score goals with a good, hard shot or by banging around in the dirty areas.

Jack Studnicka (C)    Oshawa Generals   – DOB: 1999-02-18 – H: 6′

  • McKeens:  Jack is a power pivot who displays a methodical stick handling attack, using subtle puck placement over dangling options…very good at exiting traffic and unleashing a quick accurate shot…strong two-way player with good possession tools…

Brady Gilmour (C)    Saginaw Spirit    OHL – DOB: 1999-04-18 – H: 5’10

  • Hockey Now: He’s a complete player. He’s a two-way guy that works hard in both ends and is a true leader, the guy just has leadership qualities well beyond his years –

On The Radar

  • Morgan Frost (C)    Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds   DOB – 1999-05-14 H: 5’11: Smart two-way player that despite size isn’t afraid to play a physical game.
  • Jason Robertson (LW)    Kingston Frontenacs    DOB: 1999-07-22 – H: 6’1:  Good size, speed, skill combination.

Stock is Falling
Jonah Gadjovich (LW)    Owen Sound Attack  – DOB: 1998-10-12 – H: 6’2 – Big Power Forward with a late birthday, so he’ll be older than most first year draft eligible players this season.
Kirill Maximov (LW)    Saginaw Spirit – DOB: 1999-06-01 – H: 6’1 – Smooth stick-handling Russian with good size.
Liam Hawel (C)    Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds – DOB:  1999-04-18 H: 6’4 – A big, smart right-hand shot center will need to bring more offense and get a little stronger.

Russian D-Man (Draft Year)

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.

# Team Player H DOB
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

Player PPG League
 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
Sergei Boikov 0.18 QMJHL
  • 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

Player League Pts/G GP PTS
 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.


Player League Pts/G GP PTS
 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.


Player League Pts/G GP PTS
 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.


Player League Pts/G GP PTS
 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.