Round 1, Pick 22, German Rubtsov, C, Russia U-19 (MHL)
Hextall with the dig
TEAM: Team U18, RUSSIA-JR.
BORN: June 27, 1998
HOMETOWN: Chekhov, Russia
VITALS: 6’2”, 178 pounds
* Played in 28 games in the Russian junior league where he recorded 12 goals and 14 assists for 26 points and a plus-minus rating of +12.
* He finished second in scoring on Russia’s Under-18 team – despite playing in 11 fewer games than the club’s leading point-getter – to help the team post the third-best record in Russia’s top junior league.
* Has represented Russia on numerous occasions on the national level.
* At the 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial, Rubtsov notched two assists in the third period of the bronze medal game to help Russia overcome a multi-goal deficit to win 4-3 against Finland.
* In the championship game at the 2015 World Junior A Challenge, Rubtsov factored on Russia’s only goal in a 2-1 defeat to Canada West. In addition to earning a silver medal, Rubtsov was named to the tournament All-Star team after sharing third in scoring with seven points (2g-5a) in four games
Rubtsov has been compared to Pavel Datsyuk, which is a positive in every way possible. He has a two-way game. Blessed with superb playmaking skills, he can find the open man once defenders commit to him. He is strong while skating with the puck, and his speed allows him to quickly return to the defensive zone.
The well-rounded Rubtsov was the top player on the inaugural Russia under-18 team this season, and showed well in international play. Offensively, he has the traits one would expect of a top Russian prospect. He's an above-average skater, with a good first step and an easy stride. His skills aren't elite, but he shows good hands and is able to create space for himself. His hockey IQ is very impressive, as he displays great patience with the puck, sees his options well and always finds himself involved with the play. Rubtsov is a fierce competitor in puck battles and, despite having a lean frame, is able to win a fair amount of them. He's also a quality defensive center, who has been leaned on all season in critical defensive situations, and is often a threat to score shorthanded. Though he and the rest of his teammates were disqualified from the under-18 world championships, it's hard to see his draft stock slipping too much.
Safe pick with upside. The first impression he left on me was a good one. Dominate in the WJAC. Hard to go wrong picking the best 18 year old in Russia. Flyers broke their CHL streak but he was talking about coming over to the CHL- find out next week.