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.

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