Ranking the top 5 prospects in Russia
The NHL draft blog's evaluation of European prospects continues with a look at Russia. After chatting with European scouts, coaches and talent evaluators, here are breakdowns on the five top draft prospects currently skating in Russia.
1. Alexei Marchenko, D, CSKA Moscow, Jr.
A highly touted prospect prior to the draft last year, Marchenko was passed over due to health-related issues. He had his spleen removed, but he is back on track now after having been declared fit to play the game.
"Alexei is a very smart kid with solid positioning and a knack for taking out his opponent in one-on-one situations," says one scout who has seen Marchenko several times this season. "He can play physical, especially using hip checks. He's a good overall player who uses his smarts to contribute in special ways. Marchenko skates well and possesses good hockey sense. He will be a good addition to any team, a real catch."
Another upside for this kid is his language skills. He's fluent in English, which of course makes a transition to North America much easier. This will most likely make him even more interesting to teams come draft time.
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