Daily 2018 Draft Prospect Updates

Sept. 26, 2017


Virtually all of the world's draft-prospect-related hockey action on Tuesday took place in Europe, with Russia and Sweden hosting the bulk of it.

Due to the limited schedule, only five of those European performances are featured tonight, but they all involve players very much on the NHL scouts' radar:

Stars of the Night

NIKITA DOLGOPYATOV -- An MHL rookie who's one of the smallest players in the running for next June's draft, Dolgopyatov turned in a two-goal game to help Moscow Red Army rout Khabarovsk 7-0. The diminutive right wing managed to score twice in only 8:48 of ice time. He suddenly has four goals in his past three games and is establishing himself a a dangerous player in his draft year. The only reason he wouldn't get drafted at this rate would be his height, so he'll have to keep up this pace to stay in the draft picture.

DAVID GUSTAFSSON -- Another rookie making his mark in Europe is Sweden's David Gustafsson, who already has the necessary NHL size. On Tuesday, he scored his first career SHL goal in only his fourth game. It was also the first goal of the night in Jonkoping HV-71's 3-2 shootout win over Karlskrona. Gustafsson made the opening-night roster for HV-71 and will spend this season playing against men. And he is getting the icetime now, including a season-high 14:48 on Tuesday.

JACOB OLOFSSON -- Olofsson, a 17-year-old center who represented Sweden at last month's Hlinka tournament, also scored his first goal in a men's league on Tuesday. Playing in his country's No. 2 league, the Allsvenskan, Olofsson had a goal, five shots, and an 8-for-12 faceoff performance to help Timra drop Amtuna 4-2. The 6-foot-2 center scored his goal for a 3-1 lead at 17:35 of the second period, and it stood up as the game-winner.

ALEXANDER ZHABREYEV -- If this young man weren't so tiny (he's not even 5-foot-8), he might be one of the top 2018 prospects coming out of Russia's MHL. Zhabreyev picked up two assists and posted a season-high 21:15 of icetime in St. Petersburg Dynamo SPB's 6-3 loss to Yaroslavl. Coming off a two-goal game in the Hlinka tournament, Zhabreyev has taken the MHL by storm in his second season as a point-per-game player. Through 12 MHL games, he has three goals and nine assists. He might not even get drafted because of his size, but it's obvious that he can compete against bigger players.

BOGDAN ZHILYAKOV -- When an otherwise low-scoring Russian MHL defenseman records a goal and an assist in the same game, it's worth taking notice. Zhilyakov, another member of St. Petersburg SPB Dynamo, posted his two-point night in the 6-3 loss to Yaroslavl. Not so big for a defenseman at just under six feet tall, Zhilyakov is going for broke in his draft year. Last season, he went 32 games without scoring a goal. This season, he's a scoring machine -- with two goals already.