Anyone got any information on this kid? How good is he?
Well for one, the kid is huge. 6'4" around 200lbs, he'll probably fill out more than that. He put up very solid numbers with Russia's U19 and U18 teams averaging a point per game with them. He showed he could score in the MHL with Reaktor, having 5 more goals than assists. Definite first round skill and potential with his skill and size.
The kid is a beast....more suited for NA hockey. Solid skills but really dominates with his size at this level. Skating needs major work.
I could see him being a Martin Hanzal type NHLer.
Hanzal has much more hockey sense and is much more skilled than Yakimov IMO. Yakimov´s hands are very average. Plus Yakimov is poor skater.
Maybe better comparison would be former Preds draft pick Shafigulin.
Roman Solovoev, one of our Russian guys, had this to say about him:
“Yakimov is a big, tough center who thrives in the face-off circle where he uses his size and strength to over power opponents.” Solovoev said. “He’s solid at both ends of the ice and gets most of his goals and points by getting his nose dirty around the net.”
I don't even know how this kid got hyped so much in NA. Slepyshev went undrafted and Yakimov is viewed as a first/second rounder by some fans.
1. Most fans were equally baffled that Slepyshev went undrafted. He was very highly thought of by posters here.
2. Let's not pretend talent is the only factor at play when drafting Russians. It's better to spend a pick on a guy that tops out as a fourth-liner for your NHL team than a first-liner who never sets foot in North America.
His skating is fine, not exceptional but not bad. Big guy with soft hands, soft hands. Loves the curl and drag move. Had an excellent finish to the season, blew up the MHL (rare for guys in draft year) and went almost ppg in the VHL, which hasn't been done yet by a guy in their draft year... Some scouting site had him ranked super high, but others as I am surprised have not included him as a top 60 guy, which IMO is a mistake. I am surprised he is not getting fanfare and will likely continue under the radar as he will not be attending the U18s due to age restriction (Was voted Russia's top 3 players past 2 U18s).
The final Russian prospect at the Combine is Yakimov, a 6-5, 202-pound left-handed center. He's No. 11 on Central Scouting's European list and has one year remaining on his contract in the KHL with Nizhnekamsk.
"He'll play one more year [in the KHL], and then he'll come to the NHL," Gandler said. "If he's ready, great, and if not, he'll play in the American Hockey League for as long as it takes to be in the NHL."
Gandler said Yakimov has soft hands and can see the ice very well for a big man. He needs to shoot the puck more.
"He likes to go straight to the net, is strong on his skates and is hard to knock down," Stubb said of Yakimov. "His skating was so much better this year. I would think he could be selected late second or early third round of the draft. He has skills and the potential to play in the NHL."
Yes thats his agent talking him up, but his agent is also Gandler, couldn't see him wating time on this guy if he was junk. Id have to agree with the soft hands part, he's not just going to be some physical styled forward; has all the tools to play role of skilled forward as well. The fact that he is 6'5 200lbs at 18 is pretty impressive. when grows into his form in a few years thats one massive center.