Photo courtesy of http://theprovince.com/sports/hockey/nhl/vancouver-canucks/canucks-prospect-zhukenov-signs-in-russia

Fantasy Summary

A project offensive player.


Observations

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March 2021 – After years of searching for the right fit, Zhukenov looks to have found himself a safe home. The 24-year-old enjoyed another consistent season with Gornyak Uchaly (VHL), producing 24 points through 41 games, enjoying top-six minutes along the way. It was hit first time playing back-to-back seasons with the same club since he had done so with the Chicoutimi Saguenéens during the 2015-2017 campaigns. His efforts would earn him a mid-season call up the KHL, where he saw 11 games, combining for a respectable five points in that span. It was his best showing at the top level to date. It may not be enough to warrant a ticket to the AHL, however, it’s certainly encouraging to see progress in his game – especially in the top tiers. Dave Hall

March 2020 – After basically missing the entire 2018-19 campaign while bouncing between a half a dozen leagues, the Russian centre settled in nicely with the VHL – Russia’s second tier. There, the creative forward produced 15 goals and 26 points in 52 games while seeing consistent top-nine minutes. The Canucks own his rights until 2024 but he remains a long shot to cross back over. Cam Robinson

May 2018 – The 21-year-old wrapped up his season in Russia with limited exposure to KHL ice time. In 15 games for Avangard Omsk, Zhukenov recorded a single assist. He produced 34 points in 33 MHL contests, however that mark shouldn’t be considered overly impressive as he was 20 years old for much of the season playing against junior players. At this point, it looks unlikely that the Canucks will offer him an entry-level contract. Cam Robinson

February 2018 – With his junior eligibility completed, Zhukenov returned home to Russia and signed a two-year pact with Avangard Omsk of the KHL. Seeing limited minutes at even strength and little to no time on special teams, the former fourth-round pick tallied just a single goal in 15 contests. He’s since been sent to Russia’s second tier, the MHL, where he’s found much more success, scoring seven goals and 23 points in 27 games. The Canucks will continue to own his rights until June 1st, 2019 – after his KHL contract ends, but the organization feels they may be able to continue to own his rights for even longer but wouldn’t specify the details. Cam Robinson

April 2017 – The 20-year-old forward has had a terrific playoff run for Chicoutimi of the QMJHL. He leads his team and is fourth in the league with 16 points in 11 contests. The crafty and speedy center has flashed plenty of offensive creativity at the junior level and has demonstrated a willingness to improve his off-puck skills. There have been rumors that he will sign in the KHL at the completion of his final QMJHL season, but that may not be the worst thing, as he’s likely a couple years away from pushing for a full-time NHL gig. The Canucks will own his rights until he is 27 years old. Cam Robinson

August 2016 – Zhukenov enjoyed a strong first season in Canadian Major Junior hockey. He racked up 15 goals and 57 points in 62 regular-season contests and another six points in six playoff games. The 19-year-old possesses deft playmaking ability and great speed. The Omsk native will return to Chicoutimi this fall and look to produce big numbers while adding strength to his 180 lbs frame. Cam Robinson

December 2015 – A relative unknown to many, Zhukenov was a fairly off the board pick by the Canucks in this year’s NHL Entry Draft. Despite having an excellent World Junior Championships where he notched three goals and six points in five games, Dmitri was generally overlooked by many coming into the draft. This must have served as great motivation for him, as he has already begun to make his mark in North America. Choosing to join the Chicoutimi Saguenéens of the QMJHL after spending last season plying his trade as a member of Omskie Yastreby, the junior league affiliate of his hometown Avangard Omsk KHL club, Zhukenov has adapted nicely to his new environment. Currently used as a second-line centre, while playing the left side on the first power-play unit, Dmitri has put up 23 points in his first 27 games as an 18-year-old. While possessing very good offensive instincts, including crisp puck movement and the ability to handle the puck with speed, Dmitri is surprisingly responsible in his own end. Anticipating the play well and finding good positioning on the defensive side of the puck are areas that wouldn’t be usually thought of at this age, but Zhukenov carries himself very well in this regard. This may be lost in a more physical style of game, however, as he lacks both the strength and size to win puck battles and is easily pushed around. Size aside, he plays with a good edge and isn’t afraid to mix it up in front of the net. As with many junior players,  his skating is only average with work needed on both his acceleration and edgework. While it remains to be seen how Zhukenov will fill out as he matures, he certainly possesses the talent required to potentially become a valued contributor to an NHL club. David McDonald

Attributes
Fantasy Upside 4.0
NHL Certainty 1.0
Country RUS
Position C
Roster Type Junior
Shoot/Glove Right
Date of Birth March 24, 1997
Height 5‘11”
Weight 176 lbs
Drafted 2015 Round 4; Overall: 114

Stats

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2011-2012 Team Siberia U15Districts Cup U155 3 36 6|        
 2013-2014 Russia U17WHC-176 3 710 4|        
 2014-2015 Omskie YastrebyMHL35 3 1619 42|Playoffs4 0 22
  Russia U18Hlinka Gretzky Cup4 1 45 16|        
  Russia U18 |WJAC-19|WJAC-195 1 34 4|        
  Russia U18WJC-185 3 36 2|        
  Russia U18 (all)International-Jr16 6 1016 58|