• PROSPECT-UPDATE ARCHIVE
No prospects were in action on Monday, as there was very little hockey across the globe.
I spent some time looking at the stats of players in Russia's MHL. That league has really stepped up over the past few years as a source of talent, and it would be interesting to see those teams play against CHL squads, because they are on a similar level.
So who is the highest scoring first-year eligible draft prospect in the MHL this season? It's St. Petersburg Dynamo SPB's Alexander Zhabreyev by a mile. The 17-year-old center has seven goals and 17 assists for 24 points in 26 games. The next highest-scoring MHL prospect has 13 points.
Zhabreyev is a C-rated prospect by NHL Central Scouting, which means he has a good chance to be drafted in Rounds 4 through 7. However, there's a catch. He is only 5-foot-7 and may not grow much more.
So what do you do with players like this? Take someone like Sean Dhooghe last season. He had a fantastic year for the U.S. NTDP Under-18 team, but he's only 5-foot-3 and wasn't draft material. Dhooghe, now playing a the University of Wisconsin, might never get to the NHL. Had he been nine inches taller, he would have been drafted. In the more relatable case, consider Mats Zuccarello. He is also 5-foot-7 and was never drafted -- yet he's an exceptional NHL player.
Given the success of someone like Zuccarello, it seems Zhabreyev should at least be drafted and offered a chance to prove he can make it Given his play in the MHL, he deserves a shot. Here's a sampling of his MHL highlights: