HC Traktor

Fantasy Summary

Rykov is a strong defensive winger who flashes some impressive playmaking skill and passing plays, his offence could take off if he improves his evasiveness and handling, and if he varies his on and off-puck routes to play a less linear game.


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June 2023 – Rykov was selected at pick 100 by the Hurricanes. Pat Quinn


February 2023 – Alexander Rykov is one of the younger players in this draft with a mid-July 2005 birthday, but that doesn’t stop him from being one of the more mature and responsible players in this draft. He’s used his mature game to mostly bypass junior hockey this season and play the majority of his games in the Russian tier two men’s professional league, the VHL. Throughout the season, it’s been refreshing to see the improvement in his game from his first few games to his most recent VHL games.

One thing that stands out with Rykov is his desire to hunt for the puck. Whether it’s chasing a loose puck or trying to strip an opposing player of the puck, his motor is going at 100% all the time. He takes good angles to the puck, uses leverage (at times) to win battles, and will ramp up his speed to beat his opponent in a race to the puck. With general strength and skating development expected over the next few years, he could be a real nuisance to play against.

Rykov doesn’t just play well away from the puck when in pursuit or defending, he’s also a good off-puck player on offense. Rykov has a natural ability to find soft spots in defensive coverage and get open for centering passes. He does this both in the middle of the ice and down around the net, which puts him in good situations to act as the finisher on his line. His shot is just okay for now, and will require work if he’s going to play as a finisher vs. a creator or connector. Rykov’s skating is solid and doesn’t look too out of place when compared to his VHL peers. He does lack the required knee bend required, and isn’t the most creative skater, especially when he carries the puck. 

Rykov’s biggest weaknesses are his vision and creativity when the puck is on his stick. Early in the season, he severely lacked pace carrying the puck, but this was mainly due to the pro game being too much for him. As the season has gone on, this has improved a lot. The game has gotten slower inside his head, which means he’s able to act more quickly and decisively. Still, there are other weaknesses when the puck is on his stick. Rykov really doesn’t use much deception to manipulate defenders and often has one track he wants to take to the net. This makes it fairly easy to defend against him when he’s carrying the puck. Another issue is he gets tunnel vision and doesn’t see teammates who are open, instead skating the puck into defensive coverage killing the play. This hasn’t really been much of an issue at the junior level, but has been in the VHL, which makes me think a lot of this will be corrected and ironed out with more experience. If Rykov had played the whole season in the MHL (only six games so far), I don’t think it would have shown up much.

Overall, Rykov plays a very projectable game. He’s an advanced defensive forward with a knack for winning puck battles and taking the puck away. He plays with excellent effort and a good stick to defend. Currently, Rykov is limited to being a finisher on offense, as the playmaking and deception haven’t translated to the pro level just yet. Still, he’s a solid skater and appears to have the work ethic required to improve on his weaknesses. The overall maturity in his game and improvement from the start of the season to now lead me to believe he’s far from a finished project. With proper development over the next few years, I could see Rykov playing as a two-way impact middle-6 winger, who can be tasked with playing against the other team’s better players, while still chipping in some secondary scoring of his own. Jordan Harris


April 2023 – Rykov enjoyed a very nice draft season playing 20 games in the VHL, the second-tier professional league in Russia, producing 4 goals and 7 assists in that span, before being shut down the final couple months of the season with an injury. He started out playing a very reserved game trying not to make too many mistakes in his first few games against men but eventually adjusted quite nicely to the pace of the VHL. He has average tools and average size but doesn’t have many holes in his game. A July birthday makes him one of the younger players in this draft, which means he could have more physical development still to come compared to others. He projects as a reliable, yet hard-working bottom 6 player with a bit of skill. Jordan Harris

Fantasy Upside 7.0
NHL Certainty 7.5
Country RUS
Position RW
Roster Type Europe
Shoot/Glove Left
Date of Birth July 14, 2005
Height 5‘11”
Weight 170 lbs
Drafted 2023 Round 4; Overall: 100


 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2018-2019 Team Urals U14Districts Cup U147 3 14 0|        
 2019-2020 Team Urals U15Districts Cup U157 3 58 2|        
 2020-2021 Traktor Chelyabinsk U16Russia U1627 29 3665 48|        
  Traktor Chelyabinsk U17Russia U172 1 12 0|        
  Team Urals U16Districts Cup U167 6 410 2|        
 2021-2022 Traktor Chelyabinsk U17Russia U17- - -- -|        
  Traktor Chelyabinsk U18Russia U18- - -- -|        
  Traktor Chelyabinsk U18Russia U18 Finals8 5 38 18|        
  Belye Medvedi ChelyabinskMHL38 10 1222 26|        
  Russia U18EYOF4 1 01 2|        
 2022-2023 Traktor ChelyabinskKHL6 0 00 0|        
  Chelmet ChelyabinskVHL20 4 711 10|        
  Belye Medvedi ChelyabinskMHL3 0 22 0|Playoffs1 0 00
 2023-2024 Traktor ChelyabinskKHL29 6 28 6|Playoffs2 0 00
  Chelmet ChelyabinskVHL27 8 1725 6|        
  Belye Medvedi ChelyabinskMHL0 0 00 0|Playoffs3 1 12
  Russia U20 (all)International-Jr- - -- -|        
 2024-2025 Traktor ChelyabinskKHL- - -- -|