December MHL Prospect Report
Updated: Apr 17
Welcome to the first MHL prospect report of the year! (And technically the last). I hand picked a bunch of players who have really stood out to me so far this season, either with their MHL teams, or on the international stage. This isn't a ranking list or even close to my entire watchlist, but these are the guys who I'm most excited to watch right now.
Bogdan Trineyev, LW
MHK Dynamo Moskva
Bogdan Trineyev is one of the most complete Russians in this draft class. In addition, he’s a right shooting prospect, which is very rare coming out of Russia these days. On top of that, he plays on his off-wing, which adds an extra layer of spice. Trineyev stands 6’3 and weighs 176 pounds, making him one of the bigger draft eligibles. For a big man, his skating is very fluid and his speed/motor are high-end. He doesn’t have the best edges, but can still make quick turns. Trineyev plays a fast power forward game. On defense, he is constantly moving and looking to throw his body around as much as possible. And man, this kid can hit. Trineyev is somewhat of a wrecking ball when he doesn’t have the puck. When he has the puck, it’s a different story. He’s a great puck carrier in transition, and uses his speed to his advantage. When inside the zone, Trineyev is a possession monster. If he doesn’t have a passing or shooting option, he’ll just do a lap or two around the net until one opens up. Trineyev’s hands are slick and deceptive, though not too quick. I give more credit to his brain than his hands when it comes to his deking. His shot is nothing too special, but it’s accurate and his one-timer is heavy. Trineyev is a very good prospect and should be a lock for a 4th-5th round pick.
Semyon Demidov, C
Russie Vityazi Chekhov
Semyon Demidov is one of the youngest players in this draft, he’s only a couple days away from being 2021 eligible. Regardless, he’s finding tons of success in the MHL. Vityazi isn’t a very good team this season, and Demidov has been given lots of opportunity to play. He’s made the most of it, being 2nd in assists and 4th in points on his team. Demidov’s speed is average, but his edgework and agility are very good. Demidov is primarily a playmaker, and he has some great forechecking ability. His hands are very quick, and he makes tons of high IQ passes. Demidov’s shot is accurate, with a fast release, usually very close to his body. I’m not sure if Demidov will be drafted, but he definitely deserves a look in the later rounds.
Dmitri Zlodeyev, C
MHK Dynamo Moskva
Dimitri Zlodeyev plays like a buzzsaw. He’s a smaller player, but is very aggressive on the forecheck and has some great defensive instincts. He frequently drops down to make crucial plays to protect the front of the net. On top of that, he’s an extremely skilled playmaker, and a speedy skater. He’s usually not the puck carrier through the neutral zone, but is the first option once the puck is over the line. Zlodeyev likes to hang out both behind and in front of the net on offense, analyzing his options. He doesn’t have the evasiveness of a Johnny Gaudreau, but he’s smart enough to create his own time and space. His hands are very quick and he can make some sweet saucer passes. The only thing he needs to work on is his shooting and net front finishing. Most recently, Zlodeyev has played between Trineyev and Didkovsky, and the line has looked awesome. Zlodeyev’s skill makes defensemen honor him, opening up Didkovsky’s lethal shot. He’s a solid face-off taker, and like Trineyev should be a lock in rounds 4-5.
Ivan Didkovsky, RW
MHK Dynamo Moskva
Ivan Didkovsky is without a doubt the best first time draft eligible player in the MHL. He’s electric on offense, always looking to pull off highlight reel plays. His deke arsenal is really impressive, and his shot is even more impressive. Didkovsky can pick corners with ease, with both his wrist shot and one-timer. His release is super quick, and is definitely his best tool. His speed is good, and sometimes exceptional. He’s shown that he’s definitely got another gear when he needs it. He can be a little bit frustrating to watch sometimes, due to his penchant for going between the legs, but is still an immensely talented forward with some real scoring potential.
Dmitri Ovchinnikov, LW
Dmitri Ovchinnikov is a speedy playmaking winger, with some sick hands. Ovchinnikov is constantly buzzing around the offensive zone, and can split defensemen with ease. He’s one of his team’s top offensive options, and can run a power play from the half wall. In addition, he’s able to effectively break the puck into the zone with his speed. Ovchinnikov is super fun to watch and is worth a pick in rounds 5-6.
Marat Khusnutdinov, C
SKA-1946 St. Petersburg
Marat Khusnutdinov, the enigma. I could pretty much copy and paste everything I wrote about Zlodeyev and put it here. The difference is that Khusnutdinov has showed off these skills, and had success, at the international level. He’s been very good in all international play, but just average offensively in the MHL. He looks good with SKA, the league’s top team, but often leaves me wanting just a bit more. Regardless, Khusnutdinov is a very good prospect with 3rd-4th round potential.
Alexander Pashin, RW
Alexander Pashin is a super effective winger. His skating is quick and deceptive, and reminds me a lot of Artemi Panarin’s. He can pull off some impressive dekes, make some great passes, and really bury the puck for a smaller guy. There’s a lot to like about Pashin’s game, and he’ll be a real option in rounds 3-4.
Danil Aimurzin, RW
Daniil Aimurzin has been one of the top producers among first time MHL draft eligibles. In fact, he’s the top one. On top of that, he’s doing it with one of the best teams in the league. Aimurzin is a purely offensive player, with a deadly shot. He’s got one of the heaviest and most accurate shots in this draft class, and it will definitely go unappreciated. He’s a pretty stocky guy, and his skating isn’t very pretty. However, when he gets going he can be pretty quick. He makes some great plays as well when he doesn’t have a shot. But there really isn’t any defense to his game at all. Aimurzin is very similar to Arthur Kaliyev, just a couple tiers less skilled.
Anton Kosalapov, LW
MHK Dynamo Moskva
Anton Kosalapov is a super speedster. Like, jaw dropping speed. He couples this with a great defensive stick and the ability to finish in front of the net. Kosalapov doesn’t have great playmaking skills, and he’s got a hard but not accurate shot. Regardless, he’s been earning ice time over the likes of Trineyev Zlodeyev and Didkovsky. In the beginning of the season, when I’d watch those three, Kosalapov would always catch my eye. I saw the speed, but nothing else. Now I’m starting to think there’s something more there. His physical tools are so enticing, and if he can add to his speed, he’ll be in the discussion for the draft.