A good skater who excels in the transition game, moving pucks up ice with his quick feet and shifty hands. Needs to work on his overall hockey IQ, defensive skill, and playmaking. Lacks consistency and high-end skill but has the size and speed to become a dependable bottom-six two-way center with middle-six upside and special teams usage.
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October 2023 – Zhilkin attended the Winnipeg Jets’ 2023 Development Camp in July and participated in the 2023 Young Stars Classic in Penticton, B.C., from September 15-18, 2023. He also attended the Jets’ training camp before being reassigned to the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League (AHL) to start the 2023-24 season. In five games with the Moose, Zhilkin was kept off the score sheet through four games before scoring his first professional goal and assist in a 6-5 OT win by the Moose over the Texas Stars on Saturday, October 28, 2023. Mark Henry
June 2023 – Winnipeg has signed Danny Zhilkin to a three-year, entry-level contract. Zhilkin finished the season on a good note, with an impressive run with Kitchener before being shut down by the Conference Champion London Knights in the second round. Zhilkin put a lot of work into rounding out his game this season and becoming more of a complete player. He became more of a natural center, not looking as lost in the offensive zone, and knowing where he should be, and also where his teammates are going to be. His vision took a much-needed step in the right direction. He’s an exceptional transition player, whether it be, skating the puck through the neutral zone, or utilizing his options with an above averaging playmaking ability that he spent time developing this season. He’s a very versatile player in many ways and can come across as very deceptive for the competition. Zhilkin, while still a very well-rounded, do-it-all player, should be encouraged to continue to work on developing his puck skills to take his game to the next level. May that be basic stickhandling, one-tap passing ability, or a quick release in close quarters. Seth Ditchfield
July 2022 – Zhilkin has been selected by the Winnipeg Jets in the third round of the 2022 NHL Draft, 77th overall. Nick Richard
January 2022 – Zhilkin has been a name to watch for in the 2022 draft class for a while now. With the OHL canceled last year, the only action Zhilkin saw was a bottom-six role for Team Canada at the U18’s last May. This year in the OHL, Zhilkin is producing well in his second season with the Storm, currently sitting inside the top-10 in scoring among OHL draft-eligibles – an impressive feat considering the large class of draft-eligible players in the OHL this year. Zhilkin has been given a large opportunity from the start of the season, playing first line center for the contending Guelph Storm, and getting the chance to play alongside talented Ducks prospect Sasha Pastujov.
Zhilkin is a transition monster who uses his top speed and puck skills to gain entry into the offensive zone every opportunity he gets. Once he is in the offensive zone, Zhilkin capitalizes with his attacking style of play to quickly create a scoring chance for his team. One of Zhilkin’s skills that doesn’t get as much attention is the quick release of his wrist shot. When on the power play, Zhilkin tends to look for screens in front and open shooting lanes for him to release his wicked wrister on net, hoping for a goal or to create a rebound for his teammates. Over the course of the last couple of years, there has been much-needed growth in Zhilkin’s defensive play. He has brought his attacking mentality to all three zones of the ice and has made life more difficult for oppositions in his own zone. Zhilkin has played this entire year as a center and I believe that his game can translate well in the middle of the ice at the NHL level. There are, however, some improvements that he still needs to make to reach his full potential. The biggest area of focus will be Zhilkin’s vision and ability to understand quickly where the puck needs to go. He has the top speed and skill in order to get around everyone and into position, however, once he is at the advantage, he consistently is unable to find the open lane and advance play into high danger opportunities. Given his strong ability to move the puck up ice and the improvement of his 200-foot game, Zhilkin seems to have a high floor – likely as a bottom-six center playing both special team units. If he can work on his vision and improve his agility down low, he has the upside to be a middle-six center who drives play. Zhilkin is a strong candidate to be chosen in the late-first to the mid- second round of the draft and could settle in anywhere in that range between now and draft time in July. Zack Szweras
|2017-2018||Maroon Hockey Selects U15||WSI U15||5||1||0||1||0||||
|2018-2019||Toronto Marlboros U16 AAA||U16 AAA||69||32||25||57||66||||
|Toronto Marlboros U16 AAA||OHL Cup||4||0||2||2||2||||
|Team GTHL Blue||OGC-16||4||3||3||6||2||||
|Toronto Marlboros U16 AAA||GTHL U16||33||11||12||23||20||||
|Canada Black U17||WHC-17||5||4||2||6||2||||