Canucks: Why large, intriguing defenceman Dmitri Simashev deserves NHL draft consideration

If the Canucks retain their No. 11 decide, and blue-line targets Axel Sandin-Pellikka and David Reinbacher are off the board, scouts consider they need to think about a leap of religion.

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For those who decide him, will he come? And can he keep?

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There are at all times considerations with rolling the cube on Russian prospects on the NHL draft. Those that play professionally again residence have contractual obligations within the KHL and acquiring their companies right here is usually extra sticky than a roll of hockey tape.

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The Vancouver Canucks had adventures with their drafted Russians who didn’t pan out — together with Nikita Tryamkin, Fedor Fedorov and Sergei Shirokov — however they proceed to draw consideration. A complete of 29 Russians have been chosen within the 2001 draft and 25 have been picked in 2002.

Which brings us to 2023 and intriguing defenceman Dmitri Simashev.

The 6-foot-4, 201 pound left-shot defender performed 18 video games this KHL season with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. What stood out was his bodily presence towards males and utilizing his pace and vary to shut rapidly on the opposition. Though he has but to develop offensively, he’ll stroll the road and do one thing artistic to lift the eyebrows.

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Simashev can be below contract by the 2024-25 KHL season.

If the Canucks retain their No. 11 decide on June 28 in Nashville, and if blue-line targets Axel Sandin-Pellikka and David Reinbacher are off the board, scouts consider they need to think about a leap of religion. And if the Canucks drop down and get Chicago’s choice at No. 19 as a part of a picks bundle, perhaps Simashev slips to them.

That appears unlikely.

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NHL scouts consider there’s just a little Vladislav Gavrikov of the Kings in NHL draft prospect Dmitri Simashev. Photograph by Wealthy Lam /Getty Photographs

“From my perspective, he’s the most effective D-man within the draft with a No. 3 (place) upside,” mentioned NHL prospects scout Shane Malloy. “It could not be unreasonable if he produced 35-40 factors in his prime NHL years from age 24-30.

“I consider the St. Louis defence core once they gained the Cup (2019). He’s a kind of gamers. Rangy, makes a wise first move, and surprises you with just a little little bit of offence. His video games interprets higher to the NHL than a majority of the (draft) defenceman.

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“And I’m not hostile to taking danger on a Russian. I don’t thoughts ready (for NHL arrival). You’re going to attend anyway. Each coach needs these large, lanky defencemen who’ve vary and smack some individuals round in the event that they actually must.

“If he’s obtainable at No. 11, the Canucks ought to take him based mostly on their wants.”

As a lot as the sport has modified, the necessity for dimension hasn’t — particularly within the hard-hitting playoffs.

It’s why Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet was enamoured by the Vegas Golden Knights’ again finish in a 4-3 loss on March 21. He might see the place his membership ultimately must be. It has rising ability, however should add the desire to defend.

“Vegas is one in every of my favourites with that defence — large they usually transfer the puck and bounce into the play — and I don’t assume we have been prepared for it,” mentioned Tocchet.

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Quick ahead and the rising buzz round Simashev is like all prospect. It’s based mostly on what he has finished and what he might do. He was pointless in these 18 KHL video games, however had 10 factors (1-9) in 29 MHL junior loop outings.

“A extremely co-ordinated participant who’s one of many high skaters in his class and it’s very uncommon that you just see this sort of body with how environment friendly he’s,” mentioned Jason Bukala, a Sportsnet analyst and former NHL director of beginner scouting. “What’s fascinating is the untapped two-way potential.

“He seems like a shutdown defenceman who eats minutes, that insulator we at all times discuss. However probably the most projectable is how he skates and makes use of stick size. All people needs bigger defenders and that assume physicality first, however it’s not simply physicality. Vary issues all over the place. 

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“It’s extraordinarily essential when closing a spot extra effectively. He has but to use himself appropriately on the offensive blue-line. For those who give him time, and will increase his stage of technical capability, you would possibly get an elite two-way defender.

The place does he go within the draft? I feel there’s a variety, however he’s a first-round decide.”

Brad Allen is director of scouting for Hockey Prospects Radio on the Sirius SM NHL Radio Community. He’s sees a Simashev corresponding to defenceman Okay’Andre Miller. He was chosen twenty second total by the New York Rangers within the 2018 draft as a result of his dimension and vary (6-foot-5, 215 kilos) proved pivotal.

“When he makes errors, his athleticism provides him fallback choices and that’s precisely like Simashev,” mentioned Allen. “He can break down visitors and already makes use of it on retrievals, breakouts and might create transitional zone entries.

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“He’s on (draft) rise for me, the extra I break him down. He does have quite a lot of (Vladislav) Garvrikov in his recreation. He’s not essentially punishing bodily, however Simashev makes use of that attain to carry pucks away, get away and sneak up on you on the offensive line.

“He’ll stroll the puck and distributed one thing backdoor off the seam. It’s in there, it simply hasn’t materialized. His numbers are pedestrian on the MHL stage and a few groups will likely be very involved about that and actually do their homework.”

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