KHL, MHL, VHL prospects / updates
Anton Vasilyev – a 20 year old players (not drafted) moving between St. Petersburg’s system in the VHL and MHL. He currently has 40 points in 28 MHL games, to lead the league, but only managed two points in eight games in the VHL. He has never played in the KHL.
Vladislav Fyodorov – At just 18 Fyodorov is breaking out in the MHL with 33 points in 31 games after only 23 points in 40 games the previous season for Almaz Cherepovets. He does have a chance to be drafted in the NHL but I have not read his name much in the scouting community as being on many radars.
Andrei Altybarmakyan (CHI; 2017, round 2, 70th overall) – Alty has bounced around all three leagues again this season. He is much too good for the MHL (five points in three games) and likely too good for the VHL (seven points in 11 games). The problem is the usual problem for younger players in the KHL, ice time, as he has just a single assist in 13 KHL games. The skill is there but the opportunity rarely shows itself.
Kirill Marchenko (CBJ; 2018, round 2, 49th overall) – In his D+1 season Marchenko has shown himself to be too good for the MHL in his third season, as he had 16 points in 12 games. He is finding life more difficult in the VHL for SKA-Neva St. Petersburg as he has just two goals in 12 games. The problem here is that the team is too good and the top lines are established leaving him little chance to move up, especially with a team that is 20-5-2. Marchenko has seen one game of KHL action as well. Hopefully the low ice time will no hamper his future development.
Nikita A. Popugayev (NJ; 2017, round 4, 98th overall) – A-Pop (as there is an undrafted Nikita O. Popugayev in the KHL/MHL/VHL) is finding life more difficult away from the WHL. After leaving the Prince George Cougars in 2018-2018 he tallied 29 games between the three leagues totally only eight points in those games. In six MHL games (split between Krasnaya Armiya Moskva first and then being traded to Amurskie Tigry Khabarovsk) he has seven points, and has gotten in to 16 KHL games for Amur Khabarovsk where he has just one goal. The 6-6 forward has the size and skill to play but his issue is skating and he may stay unsigned by the Devils if he cannot become more consistent.
Andrei Svetlakov (MIN; 2017, round 6, 178th overall) – One of top prospect Kirill Kaprizov’s closest friends and teammate on CSKA Moscow does not have much of a scoring opportunity in the KHL. In the VHL he has three points in two games and really does not need to play in either the VHL or the MHL. Svetlakov has more skill than his five points in 23 games suggest, and he is also a responsible player, he just does not have a top six opportunity to play. In an effort to keep KK happy Minnesota will give him an NHL/AHL opportunity when he wants one. Possibly when his contract is up in 2019-2020.
Vasili Podkolzin (top rated Russian prospect for 2019) – The 17 year old has gotten in to a KHL game this season (registering no points) and that speaks a lot to his skill. He is not lighting up either the MHL or VHL like some younger players have before but his numbers are not wholly-reflective of his skill, as he has seven points in 10 MHL games and a goal in seven VHL games. He did destroy the U18’s for Russia with 15 points in eight games, 10 of those points being goals. He should be a top 10 pick in the 2019 draft.
Ilya Nikolayev (2019 prospect eligible) – Currently for Loko Yaroslavl in the MHL, Nikolayev has 12 points in 25 games, a solid amount for the 17 year old. In the U18’s for Russia he has eight points in eight games, and managed to put up 31 penalty minutes as he is not afraid to muck it up. Nikolayev will likely be a later round pick but watch what team/system he gets drafted to as he could flourish under the right circumstances. There is top six upside there.
The biggest surprise out of the KHL right now to me is:
Mikhail Grigorenko (I believe his rights will be owned by Colorado until he is 27, but I could be wrong and if I am Jokke will yell at me probably) – Grigorenko sits third in scoring after consistently putting up points, and the team he is leading in points features Kaprizov. Grigs is currently seven points up on teammate Linden Vey with 10 goals and 20 assists in 29 games. I hope he comes back to the NHL as he was never really given a fair shake after Buffalo tried to ruin him. His contract in the KHL is until 2019-2020 and if Colorado still owns his rights he would be very deadly there in the top six. If not he could wait until he is 27 and come back as a UFA.
Kaprizov (I don’t know if you can tell but I think highly of this kid) is leading his team in goals with 13, but he only has 21 points in 30 games. He should be challenging for the league lead so this is disappointing. I do not expect it to stay this way as he could catch fire soon and rocket his way up. He could also just be having a bad year as well.
Alexander Syomin returned to competitive hockey in the KHL this season after semi-retiring in 2017-2018 when only a VHL team would sign him. As of right now he has 21 points in 28 games for Vityaz Podolsk where he wears an “A”. Also Syomin is Semin, but at 34 it is more of a nice story that he got his game back as I always enjoyed watching him and thought he was underappreciated.
Viktor Antipin – Antipin sits with 18 points in 32 games after Buffalo completely screwed up his integration last season. At 25 and signed until 2020-2021 he could still make a come back as an older player. He is a good two-way scoring defenseman.
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