An incredibly quick skater with exceptional vision and a quality release. Needs to add strength and round out his play off the puck but could grow into an offensive contributor at the pro level.
Click to Expand
March 2023 – After completing his KHL season, Ovchinnikov has made his move to North America to join the Toronto Marlies. In 68 games with Sibir Novosibirsk, Ovchinnikov scored five goals and 13 points. He will be a name to watch down the stretch and into the AHL playoffs. Curtis Rines
August 2022 – As per the terms of his initial KHL contract termination and subsequent signing with the Leafs, Ovchinnikov has been loaned back to Sibir Novosibirsk for the 2022-23 season. He has struggled to carve out a role in the KHL despite his dominance at the junior level in the last couple of years, but this coming season should be his best opportunity to earn regular playing time in Russia’s top league. Nick Richard
February 2022 – The Leafs have signed Ovchinnikov to a three-year entry level contract.
Even after signing a contract extension with Sibir in the KHL, Ovchinnikov was unable to secure consistent playing time in Russia’s top league and the team agreed to terminate his contract in order to facilitate him signing with the Leafs. He tallied 29 points through 22 games with Sibir’s MHL affiliate before deciding to make the trip across the pond to North America. Ovchinnikov will report to the AHL’s Marlies when his Canadian work permits are approved. Nick Richard
August 2021 – Ovchinnikov has signed a contract extension with Sibir of the KHL that runs through the 2022-23 season. Nick Richard
March 2021 – Ovchinnikov’s season has concluded in Russia, finishing the campaign with 20 goals and 51 points in 40 MHL games played, putting him 12th in league-wide points-per-game while averaging over 3 SOG and over 24 minutes per game. His junior success is promising and led to call-ups to the KHL, however these trips were mostly observational. He averaged only 6 minutes per game through 16 contests, registering only 5 SOG in that time. It often takes time for young prospects to earn KHL ice time and this appears to be the case here; Ovchinnikov remains a long-term development project ho will hopefully see more ice time in the top Russian league in 2021-22. Hayden Soboleski
October 2020 – The Maple Leafs have selected Ovchinnikov in the 5th round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft at roughly his expected position by most pre-draft rankings. A true “boom or bust” pick, the very quick and very exciting forward has tremendous upside but is also a high risk of being too much of a perimeter player if he doesn’t bulk up. That being, he is only recently 18-years-old and has lots of time to develop physically and continue to grow in the Russian Junior league. A long-term prospect, do not draft at this point unless your league is extremely deep with long-term minors spots. Hayden Soboleski
May 2020 – Ovchinnikov finished the 2019-20 MHL season with 55 points in 54 games playing for Novosibirsk. He was moving all over the lineup, but found a home as a top-six forward. He can play at any forward position, but lacks the face-off skills to be a true center. However, if he can work out the faceoff issue, center may be the best position for him, as he is much better going down the middle of the ice, rather than playing by the boards.
Offensively, Ovchinnikov has a killer shot, and as the season progressed, it only got more and more deadly. He always had power, but his accuracy was really pronounced by the end of the season. Despite his size, he is most dangerous when driving towards the net in the offensive zone, which only exemplifies his skilled shooting. He uses a mixture of speed and stickhandling to drive into high danger areas, and has no issues beating defensemen and goalies with smooth stick work. When shooting from distance, he has a quick and strong release. His most noticeable attribute is his pure speed which allows him to quickly move up and down the ice using long, effective strides. He has a high-level ability of switching gears, so he can quickly go from zero to 100. When driving play forward, he rarely found issues evading physicality at the MHL level, and he used his quick feet to out-pace the defenders. He’s a smart player for his age, he reads play well and makes quick decisions with the puck.
On the other end of the ice, Ovchinnikov isn’t a star defender, but he does his job. He applies pressure to opponents and uses an active stick to get the puck effectively. Taking advantage of his speed is what he does best on defense, as well. He quickly moves across the ice to block passing lanes and force turnovers. He plays a soft, safe game in the defensive zone, and shies away from physicality. He does, however, enter puck battles along the boards, and uses his stickhandling and agility to escape the high pressure.
Ovchinnikov had two KHL appearances this season for Sibir, playing a total of just over three minutes a game. His lack of strength was shown to be his greatest weakness. Ovchinnikov seems to be out of the KHL side’s plan next season, as he has only been promised 10-12 games for Sibir and will be in the extended roster. How he trains is going to make or break his future career in the professional North American leagues. As it stands, his size and strength are not going to cut it in a more physical league. Dylan Griffing