Draft Preview # 2: Valentin Zykov

photo courtesy of Hebdosregionaux.ca
photo courtesy of Hebdosregionaux.ca

Zykov comes in at Number 2 so far because if the Islanders were to trade down, they would probably get another pick, (second rounder), and then draft a player like Zykov. An under-the-radar threat, Zykov is an already built winger who uses his big size to his advantage when taking punishment in front of the net and in the corners. In other words, Matt Moulson, only bigger. Maybe Todd Bertuzzi? We’ll see. Zykov had to adjust his game relatively quickly and then he just started scoring and became a big part of his junior team playing and winning a lot of hockey games.  After having an incredible second half,  Zykov was named the QMJHL Rookie of the Year.

Name: Valentin Zykov

Height: 6-1

Weight: 215

Position: RW

League: QMJHL

Age: 18 (May)

ISS: 19     CSS: 7

Comparison: Nikolai Kulemin, Johan Franzen

Season Total: 67 games     40 goals     35 assists     75 points

He’s already a big boy as you can see from the stats, but he’s developing into a power forward, he’s not as ready as Nino Niederreiter was at his age. He’s a gritty player with some skating that really needs some work since some are considering him to be unorthodox. Drives very hard to the net, has good hands and a hard shot, and his vision is OK. Works along the boards very well and in the corners. Obviously he uses his size well, so he is hard to knock off the puck.  his skating is a real issue however. He needs to learn how to accelerate better and not skate hunched over. If he can improve on that, which there is time to do, he could be a lethal power forward. There is no question though that Zykov is a project, he’ll either be a Todd Bertuzzi or a Mark Lawrence.

Rankings Update!! Bo Horvat on the move. Yes in less than a few minutes Horvat has moved up. He’s moved up because he may still be available at 15.

Rank               Player                             Position                 Previous Rank

3.                     Bo Horvat                       C                            4

4.                     Alexander Wennberg    C                            3

5.                      Josh Morrissey              D                            6

6.                      Curtis Lazar                    C/RW                   7

7.                       Zach Fucale                    G                           9

8.                       Anthony Mantha           RW                        8

9.                       Adam Erne                     LW/RW                5

10.                     Hunter Shinkaruk         RW                        10

11.                      Andre Burakowsky       LW                        11

12.                      Nikita Zadorov               D                           11

13.                      Max Domi                        C                           15

14.                       Ryan Hartman                C/RW                   —   (Callahan)

15.                       Frederik Gauthier          C                           13

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