How good has he been ? I say that sarcastically, since I think he's been brilliant. He's been our best D offensively. He's so agressive and does a much better job than Drew of getting pucks through to the net. Defensively he's stepped up majorly. His upper body strength is underrated.
What's his ceiling ?
He's dynamite. Has been since his call up last year. Everything he does is under the radar because he hardly ever screws up. The guy's head for the game is elite, he's got a great shot and can move the puck as well as anyone on the team. On this team he'll always be in Doughty's shadow and that should be fine with him. If teams aren't worried about him then they are probably going to end up with more Ls than Ws...
for as small as he is to some of the larger forwards, i dont think he has issues due to size very often. yes there are some board battles and battles in front of the net he loses, but every dman will lose some.
slava does an excellent job almost all the time of getting inside position, so he has leverage on guys. this is how he overcomes the size issue. it also shows three things - IQ, strength and skating ability. in order to beat a guy inside he has to read the play, figure pursuit angle, beat a guy to the spot and then outmuscle them. the kid is doing it all on the fly and instantaneously.
i also love his ability to find the net. he makes a quicker decision with the puck than DD and has an uncanny ability to snake shots through defenders.