A versatile bruiser that can hold his own on offense and defense. Needs to develop further to stand out from the pack.
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March 2020 – Zaitsev still may need another year in the KHL with Dynamo. His discipline improved as he took fewer penalties. However, his shot and skating ability still need some work. Whatever he hits, he destroys. Zaitsev just has to learn to move with a bit more agility. Chris Wassel
March 2019 – Zaitsev is a long-term project who should be in the worlds. His ability to dole out punishment is efficient and at times, brutal! He must work on being a bit more fleet of foot and learning the North American game. He should come over for next season. Chris Wassel
July 2017 – A confident and physically crushing blueliner that doles out mean and effective hits. Not the quickest, but he can get around reasonably well on the ice and is a skilled puck mover. Amassed 44 penalty minutes in 24 VHL games last year. Also not the largest of prospects at 6-0, 185-pounds but he’s strong and muscular, possessing a hard shot and decent playmaking ability. Zaitsev is a versatile special teams component, serving both on the man advantage and penalty kill. Kevin Wickersham