Guest Feature: Breaking Down the Top Russian Prospects (2019 NHL Draft)




With the 2019 NHL Draft just 10 days away, we’re ramping up our coverage. Today we have a guest feature from the man simply known as Russian Prospects (@RUSProspects).




Tier 1 aka “The Pod”

1. W Vasiliy Podkolzin

Let’s face it, Podkolzin is a tier of his own here. Everything has been already said and done about him. I’m not sure if I should repeat it. In short: while it is possible to question his offensive upside due to some flaws (possibly fixable ones though), he is a winner. Despite all the Russian factor talks about him, it’s hard to imagine both Joe Sakic and Stevie Y passing on him in the top-six picks. I don’t think he will fall down the board much.

Tier 2 aka “Top 50 guys”

2. RW Pavel Dorofeyev
3. C Yegor Spiridonov
4. C Ilya Nikolayev
5. LHD Roman Bychkov
6. W/C Yegor Afanasyev

Again, this is probably a pretty self-descriptive name for this tier. To me, these players are legit candidates for a top-50 draft position and I won’t be surprised if they even jump into the first round. Dorofeyev can create a scoring chance out of nothing. He has all the tools in the attacking area. The biggest concern is about the translation of his “east-west” playing style to the pros. With Spiridonov what you get is what you see — a big, quality two-way center with a heavy right-handed shot. A similar case is Nikolayev, minus the big frame, but with some more skill and playmaking. I like how Bychkov understands the game, I think GMs would be willing to spend a rather high pick on that. Limited viewings are the reason I can’t really place Afanasyev higher, but from what I’ve seen there might be that valuable offense generating ability.

Tier 3 aka “The Raw Talent”

7. LHD Artemiy Knyazev
8. GK Pyotr Kochetkov
9. C/W Matvei Guskov
10. C Mikhail Abramov

As the title says, there is some talent here in this tier, but that talent needs quite some refinement. With Knyazev it is the puck-moving talent (in a broad sense of it). But, while he got stronger during this season, it’s still a long way to go for h