Energetic forward who plays at a high pace. Has enough skill to grow into an effective middle-six NHL forward.
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May 2023 – Following a year in which he split time between the KHL, VHL, and MHL, 20-year-old Poltapov played his first full-time KHL season in 2022-2023. He scored five goals and 10 points in 55 games, albeit in a small role with CSKA Moskva. He plays with high energy at both ends of the rink, skates with enough agility and quickness to make smooth transitions up the ice, and can be dynamic with the puck. He at times holds on to the puck for too long. Additionally, he sometimes commits to unsuccessful plays such as ill-timed shots when lanes are blocked or imprecise pass attempts when other options might be available. Poltapov is under contract in the KHL through 2024-2025. –Kevin Wong
May 2022 – Poltapov began his 2021-2022 campaign in the VHL, Russia’s second-highest professional league, scoring two goals and six points in eight games. He was subsequently promoted to the KHL for three matches, where he averaged approximately nine minutes of TOI. Between October 16, 2021 and February 1, 2022 he bounced back and forth between short stints in the KHL, MHL, and VHL with CSKA Moscow, Zvezda Moscow, and Krasnaya Armiya Moscow, respectively, before finally being assigned to the VHL for a lengthier, two-week period in early February. With his junior squad Krasnaya Armiya, he played a major first-line role, averaging over 16 minutes of TOI as well as scoring five goals and 15 points in 13 regular season games. In the KHL, however, he was relegated to a mere 5:15 of ice time on average. As a contributor with Zvezda Moscow in the VHL, Poltapov received an average of 13:12 of TOI, although he did not score at all in his eight-game February stint. His time with Zvezda ended on February 17. On March 3, he returned to the MHL, where he would continue to play for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs. Krasnaya Armiya, the MHL’s top-seeded team, began their postseason campaign on March 11. With seven goals and 18 points in 19 games, Poltapov led his team in postseason scoring. They reached the MHL Finals against SKA-1946 but were defeated in six games. Poltapov finished sixth in MHL playoff scoring. Kevin Wong
July 2021 – Poltapov was selected in the second round, 33rd overall by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2021 NHL Draft. Nick Richard
July 2021 – Poltapov had a big season in the MHL, racking up 25 goals and 27 assists in 61 games with Krasnaya Armiya. He capped off his strong campaign with seven points in seven games for Russia at the U18 World Championships.
Though he doesn’t possess outstanding size or strength, Poltapov plays a game that combines power and skill. He plays an energetic style and pushes the pace as he works to get pucks into dangerous areas in the offensive zone with quick hands and good puck protection abilities. Poltapov doesn’t hesitate to engage physically but he needs to do a better job of picking his spots as he climbs the ranks. He is still a raw prospect, but there are some translatable qualities in his game. Nick Richard