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Fantasy Summary

Big, powerful sniper with good puckhandling skills. Needs to learn to use his size more effectively to reach his full potential.


Observations

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October 2022 – Daniil But is a massive prospect whose best asset is his shot, and it is quite a heavy shot indeed. But can fire the puck with ease as it explodes off his stick and into the back of the net. He consistently beats MHL goalies and is rapidly catching up to his goal total from last season in much fewer games. He is a finisher who puts himself in good positions to optimize his chances to score and is successful off the rush and the cycle. 

But has more than just great size and a great shot. He has good hands and does a very good job receiving passes from teammates, even those that are off-target. Unlike most big men, he likes to use his skill and deke around players while playing more of a finesse game, and he’s proven to be effective at the MHL level. It remains to be seen whether it will translate to the NHL or even the KHL, but he is skilled. 

The rest of But’s game consists of good flashes and worrisome behavior. When But is on his game, moving his feet, and using his physicality, he can be a very effective player away from the puck, especially on the forecheck. The problem is that this is not consistent across my viewings of him. Another inconsistency is his leverage. When But is playing off the puck and is engaged, he gets into athletic positions to knock opposing players down and separate them from the puck. Conversely, when But possesses the puck, he’s often found skating quite upright, which eliminates most of his size advantage as his high center of gravity allows opposing players, who are much smaller, to knock him off his track. It’s not just when he’s skating into the offensive zone, it is also when he plays with the puck along the boards. Simply put, for a man of his size, he should not lose control of the puck or be moved around as much as he does. Finally, despite being a player who utilizes toe drags and dekes, he is an inconsistent puck carrier when followed, as he does not do an effective job shielding his stick and the puck with his body. He really should have a big competitive advantage in this area too, but has not done this with much consistency.

But’s skating is what you’d expect from a solid NHL prospect of his size. When he’s finished accelerating, his top speed is good, and he is fairly nimble and agile, given his size. As expected, due to his age and size, the issue is how he reaches top speed, as his acceleration is poor. If he’s receiving a pass from a nearly static position, chances are the opposing players will be able to catch up to him with relative ease. This is a correctable issue, to some degree, and can be improved with better lower-body strength and with an NHL-caliber skating coach, but for now, it takes him too long to get up to speed. When he is up to speed and skating with a purpose, he shows some impressive edgework for his size. In a few viewings, he’s had some very quick turns to lose a defender behind the net giving him space to make a pass to the slot.

Overall, But is a peculiar prospect as he boasts some undoubtedly strong traits and measurables, but he’s a big man who doesn’t consistently play like one. His shot is NHL caliber, but I don’t view him as a top-six scoring winger at the NHL level. But will need to transform his game quite a bit and utilize his physical gifts to be effective in the NHL. If he’s able to improve his leverage and be a more consistently hard player to play against, he could be an effective middle-six winger who can score goals for his line, all while being a shooting threat on a power play unit. Jordan Harris

Attributes
Fantasy Upside 8.0
NHL Certainty 7.0
Country RUS
Position LW
Roster Type Draft Eligible
Shoot/Glove Right
Date of Birth February 15, 2005
Height 6‘5”
Weight 203 lbs
Drafted No

Stats

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2018-2019 Team Center U14Districts Cup U148 10 919 6|        
 2019-2020 Team Center U15Districts Cup U158 11 1021 6|        
 2020-2021 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl U16Russia U1611 12 1426 37|        
  Team Center U16Districts Cup U167 8 816 8|        
  Lokomotiv Yaroslavl U16Russia U16 Finals6 7 411 4|        
 2021-2022 Russia U18Hlinka Gretzky Cup5 0 11 0|        
  Lokomotiv Yaroslavl U17Russia U171 0 00 0