The Devils Draft Prospect Series continues today with a look at three (I know) 2016 draft picks and be sure to check out the rest of the posts in the series by going through the “Draft Prospect Series” tag!
The New Jersey Devils drafted LW Mikhail Maltsev 102nd overall in the fourth round of the 2016 NHL Entry-Level Draft. He might sound like someone else that you know so just bear with me. Maltsev is a 19-year old Russian left wing who is 6′ 3″ and 205 pounds. He’s played in the Russian developmental system his entire career and has represented Russia internationally.
Here are some of his stats over the last few years:
Maltsev’s a strong, physical, two-way forward and his size is one of his biggest assets. He’s a pretty consistent player and he can produce offensively. He’s someone who actually shows up during the playoffs. He’s a decent skater as well. He has a plethora of hockey skills and he could turn into a decent NHL winger.
Here’s what The Hockey News had to say about his assets: “A hard-working forward, he can complement skilled linemates very well. Has good size and two-way instincts. Does not have a lot of flash to his game but is extremely reliable”, his flaws: “The jury is out on his ability to produce enough points as a top-six forward at the highest level, so he may be limited to a bottom-six forward role in the NHL. Lacks elite skill”, and his career potential: “Solid, versatile forward with some upside.”
Here are DobberProspects’ observations from January and April of this year:
“April 2017 – Maltsev wrapped up a solid campaign featuring five goals, nine assists and a plus-11 in 14 games with the MHL’s SKA-1946, and in a longer tilt with SKA-Neva two goals and 12 assists with a plus-13 in 34 VHL contests. After dropping their second round series in seven games to Rubin Tyumen, SKA-Neva’s promising forward’s final postseason totals are three goals and two assists in 11 games. Kevin Wickersham
January 2017 – A sizable, physical, hard-working forward with scoring prowess who is adept at both left wing and center, Maltsev exhibits an impressive two-way game. Not the most naturally-gifted shooter or puck handler, he uses his size advantage and smooth, balanced skating to smartly move opponents out of his path to the net and do whatever it takes to gain position for a strong wrist shot, tip in, or key pass. Still growing at just 18 years of age, Maltsev is versatile and powerful enough to potentially serve as a bottom-six grinder with offensive instincts in the North American game. Skilled at forechecking, winning faceoffs, battling for pucks in the corners, and camping near the net on the power play and otherwise, Maltsev brings a valuable array of intangibles to the ice.”
I really don’t know where his future is. I don’t know where he’s playing in the fall; it’d be nice to have him in Binghamton (AHL) just to help him develop. He definitely doesn’t need to grow. He might choose to stay in Russia.
But he’s a good prospect who adds depth at wing in the Devils organization. Hopefully, with some development, he can come over to North America and help the team out a little bit. I’d like to see what he does at development camp (if he’s there).