I had a look at 2018 draft-eligible prospect Vitaly Kravtsov today in the KHL playing for Traktor Chelyabinsk in his seventh game of the season.
He has a regular role on the third line and does not look out of place despite being just 17 years of age. Looks to have decent mobility for a kid who is at least 6-2…needs to put on some weight. What most impressed was his attention to the defensive side of the game; he was conscientious of shadowing his winger in the offensive and neutral zones and covering the point man in his own zone. As well he made sure not to be caught up ice and skated back hard, cutting off passing lanes between the player with the puck and his check.
It’s early in the season and a long way to go before June, but early impressions are that he should be a top 60 pick if he can start putting up some numbers..so far he has an assist in seven games. He may get a look on the WJC team considering that he’s already a KHL regular, but the Russians aren’t prone to selecting many draft-eligible players for the tournament.
Interesting to see Czech draft-eligible winger Martin Kaut playing a first-line role in the Czech Extraliga at 17 years of age. He was one of the underage players on U-18 teams that caught scouts’ attention last season, often playing on a line with fellow draft prospect Filip Zadina. Hopefully, he plays for the Czechs in the World Juniors, and we get to see him again versus his peers before the draft.
Notable games by draft-eligible prospects in the CHL tonight –
Blade Jenkins of Saginaw 1g 2a tonight
Dawson Baker of Sudbury 1g 1a
Giovanni Vallati of Kitchener 0g 3a
Bastian Eckl Victoriaville 2a #29
Phillip Kurashev of Quebec 2a #96
Filip Zadina of Halifax 1g 1a
Ben-Olivier Groulx of Halifax 1g