Russian Rookie Rocking in Rimouski
September 17, 2017
By Grant McCagg
It look like Rimouski Oceanic winger Dmitry Zavgorodniy is not going to slow down any time soon. The talented 5-9 Russian led the Ivan Hlinka in scoring, netting five goals and five assists in five games, and his predilection for fives continued last night as he scored…you guessed it…five goals in a 9-2 Rimouski victory over Shawinigan.
Yes, it was only an exhibition game, but whenever you score five goals in a CHL game as a draft-eligible prospect, it will raise some eyebrows. His size will hurt him, but if he continues to produce at paces others can’t match it will be hard to dismiss the highly skilled QMJHL rookie in the top 50.
Another smaller prospect with loads of skill who is expected to put up big numbers this season is a lot better bet to go high in the draft. Guelph defenceman Ryan Merkley accumulated 55 points as an OHL rookie, rare numbers in today’s game for a 16-year-old blueliner, and he looks like he’ll be even more prolific this season if his exhibition-season production is any indication.
Merkley had a goal and three assists last night in leading Guelph to a 5-3 win over Peterborough. Scouts are already well aware of his offensive skills, however, and he’ll have to tidy up his game in his own end if he has aspirations of being a top-five selection next June.
Other notable performances by CHL draft-eligible prospects on Saturday:
Mathias Laferriere of Cape Breton 1g 1a
Yegor Sokolov of Cape Breton 1g 1a
Ty Smith of Spokane 2a