Flames Darkhorse Targets: Bogdan Yakimov

Christian Roatis
June 24 2013 11:16AM

 

One hundred and six. That's the number of selections between Calgary's 28th overall pick and their 134th overall pick in the 5th round. And during those 106 picks Calgary will only speak into the microphone and pick a player once - at 66th overall. The 66th pick is interesting because it promises to have a number of intriguing prospects available, one them likely will be big Russian power forward Bogdan Yakimov.

Like a lot of prospects this year, Yakimov's ranking has been victimized by the great play of his peers. Regarded as a fringe first rounder at the start of the season, Yakimov's stock took a steady tumble despite fairly consistent play in the MHL and VHL (equivalent to North America's CHL and AHL respectively). Yakimov was considered to be "KHL ready" at the beginning of the season following a strong 2011/12 campaign alongside the fact that he stood 6'4'' and weighed a thick 201 pounds but was caught in an organizational logjam that kept him in the same two leagues this year too. He performed well however and considering his size and good offensive ability, he'd make a good gamble for Calgary at 66.

Scouting Report

Yakimov is ranked 73rd by Corey Pronman, saying this about him


Yakimov had a decent season playing in the second-tier Russian pro league, and he was a final cut from the Russian World Junior squad. He is a big center, measuring in at about 6'5". He may not have the top-end tools of a typical top Russian prospect, but he is talented and he plays a good power game. His hands are above average, and while he can certainly make some moves and carry the puck into the opposing zone, he is not an overly creative forward. He also has pretty good hockey sense, as he makes quick decisions, sees the ice well, and positions himself effectively.


As mentioned, he is a big body player, but he could use some more muscle to fill out and make the most of his frame. Still, he is effective when protecting the puck on the boards, and he will drive the net, making use of his physical assets. His main issue is his skating, as it is below average. His top speed and his first few steps are subpar, and while has shown some improvement, he must continue to progress in that area.

Nothing unexpected of a giant power forward like Yakimov. Effective puck protection, good hands and slightly subpar skating. Skating is however an aspect of the game that can be improved and management has said they worry more about the un-teachable intangibles - like hockey sense - of a player rather than skating and puck handling that can be taught and improved.

Future Considerations wasn't quite as generous when it came to ranking Yakimov, dropping him off at 102nd overall. They too however echo Pronman's analysis of the big man, describing Yakimov as "a big, two-way power center who is a bit of a lumbering skater off the mark" but go on to say he's nearly impossible to stop at top speed. A fascinating ingredient any team would love to have - or at least experiment with. FC lists Yakimov as having Top 9 forward potential and he definitely has the tools to challenge for a Top 6 position down the road.

One issue with Russian players is the feared "Russian Factor". Either the player doesn't come over to North America or once he does and things go a little sour, he bolts back to the KHL in spite of his contract. Yakimov however may not have that problem as he's not exactly content with his KHL team at the moment. He's arguably been ready to play KHL hockey for over a season but still hasn't gotten the chance. He's frustrated and may elect to come over to North America to try his luck at cracking an NHL roster - much like fellow countryman Valeri Nichushkin. Whether or not he's NHL ready is a different story altogether.


The Numbers

There's no precise way to calculate NHLE for the MHL or VHL but on the surface, Yakimov's numbers look pretty good. He split time in VHL with two teams scoring eight goals for 22 points in 37 games following a solid six goals and 13 point performance in 11 MHL games.

Yakimov is ranked amidst a group of similar "power forward" prospects like John Hayden, Avery Peterson and Nick Moutrey among others. If Calgary is looking to add size with some scoring upside at the 66th pick they'll have plenty to choose from. Yakimov however stacks up well against his rivals in terms of the complete package he offers and . He's sufficient in all 3 zones and has shown he can put up offensive consistently - in a second tier league at least. He's also close to being NHL ready - he's already there size wise - and if he continues to be stonewalled by his KHL team, he could pull a reverse Radulov  and bolt to North America for a shot at the show.


Conclusion

It's been no secret that Calgary is trying to get bigger and stronger up front both on the big club and in the organization. Many of Calgary's top prospects like Sven Baertschi, Johnny Gaudreau and Markus Granlund fail to reach the 6 foot mark and important forwards on the NHL squad like Mike Cammalleri and Juri Hudler are no different.

Rumours have swirled in the Twitterverse about Calgary potentially taking a run at Bryan Bickell or David Clarkson come free agency but I have a better proposition. Instead of hurling an undeserved amount of cash at Bickell or Clarkson, take a shot at Bogdan Yakimov. He looks to be built in that exact mould and could very well turn out to be a carbon-copy of those two gentlemen in just a couple of years - and at half the price.

Feaster has shown a willingness in recent drafts to take risks and a flyer on a guy like Yakimov is exactly the type of risk that Calgary should be taking. High reward, fairly low risk.

Flames Darkhorse Targets

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Christian Roatis is a European by birth, Calgarian by heart. Other than writing at FlamesNation, he writes about and scouts NHL Draft Prospects at Future Considerations. Follow him on Twitter @CRoatis!
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#1 ColinS
June 24 2013, 01:34PM
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I like it! Course I like pretty much all the forwards that have been profiled, HOW DO YOU CHOOSE!?!

But yeah, I agree with dangle, we will have few more picks come draft day. Tangauy is gone 100%, don't know if he's gonna get us a 2nd or 3rd rounder even, but you never know. Cammy is probably on the way out as well, and he could get us a potential later first, early second. You take a few of our later picks and trade down once or twice to get even more picks and we could have a very full draft day.

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#2 danglesnipecelly
June 24 2013, 11:52AM
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I have to think that Feaster has a few pre-draft trades lined up that will get us a pick or two to fill in the gaps. A 2nd would sure be nice. The combo of the finals still going on and more importantly the state of emergency in Calgary I'm sure has delayed any such announcements as obviously folks there have much more important things on their minds.

Sending my well wishes from Victoria. Be safe and good luck.... sounds like the volunteer effort is tremendous! Great to hear everyone is rallying...Go Flames, Go CALGARY!

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#3 BurningSensation
June 24 2013, 01:30PM
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Nice to be talking about Flames related hockey again!

Yakimov should definitely be an intriguing pick for us, especially given he may have stalled in development for reasons outside of his talent.

I wonder if we end up draftin Nichuskin (and we might) whether it might make sense to pick up a 'friend' for him to be a running mate in training camp who can speak the same language.

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#4 Baalzamon
June 24 2013, 01:42PM
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@ColinS

You could do what Montreal did last draft and get all of them. It's insane how good their 2012 draft class looks.

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#5 MC Hockey
June 24 2013, 02:14PM
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ColinS wrote:

I like it! Course I like pretty much all the forwards that have been profiled, HOW DO YOU CHOOSE!?!

But yeah, I agree with dangle, we will have few more picks come draft day. Tangauy is gone 100%, don't know if he's gonna get us a 2nd or 3rd rounder even, but you never know. Cammy is probably on the way out as well, and he could get us a potential later first, early second. You take a few of our later picks and trade down once or twice to get even more picks and we could have a very full draft day.

I hope you are right on all fronts meaning: a. Get a few good forwards. b. Get some great return for Cammi and/or Tangs if they are traded to get more of a. Rinse and repeat!

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#6 Graham
June 24 2013, 02:18PM
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I know you can't have everything with a third or fourth round pick, but the concern here is the below average skating and acceleration. Technically, you can improve skating and off the mark acceleration, but the Flames have not had much success in doing so... Might be worth a gamble with a lower pick though!

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#7 Jeff In Lethbridge
June 24 2013, 02:37PM
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there's a lot i like about tanguay, but if he is not excited to be here mentoring rookies, it best he be moved fast, as he has shown a propensity for letting his feelings affect his play. move him Id say.

Cammy I like staying... if he is interested. he plays hard and doesnt mail it in.

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#8 please cancel acct
June 24 2013, 03:55PM
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ColinS wrote:

I like it! Course I like pretty much all the forwards that have been profiled, HOW DO YOU CHOOSE!?!

But yeah, I agree with dangle, we will have few more picks come draft day. Tangauy is gone 100%, don't know if he's gonna get us a 2nd or 3rd rounder even, but you never know. Cammy is probably on the way out as well, and he could get us a potential later first, early second. You take a few of our later picks and trade down once or twice to get even more picks and we could have a very full draft day.

With the salary cap issue's and Cammi;s 6 million dollar hit ,which teams do you see giving up a first/second round pick?

Tanguay at 3.5 mill, might be easier to move for a prospect or 3/4 round pick

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#9 danglesnipecelly
June 24 2013, 04:19PM
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please cancel acct wrote:

With the salary cap issue's and Cammi;s 6 million dollar hit ,which teams do you see giving up a first/second round pick?

Tanguay at 3.5 mill, might be easier to move for a prospect or 3/4 round pick

$6mil is a bit steep but its only for one year. Lots of teams looking for top six scoring help. Rangers, Sens, Preds, Sabres etc

I don't think a 1st is realistic but maybe a 2nd and/or a prospect. Flames could also retain some salary to sweeten the pot.

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#10 danglesnipecelly
June 24 2013, 04:19PM
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please cancel acct wrote:

With the salary cap issue's and Cammi;s 6 million dollar hit ,which teams do you see giving up a first/second round pick?

Tanguay at 3.5 mill, might be easier to move for a prospect or 3/4 round pick

$6mil is a bit steep but its only for one year. Lots of teams looking for top six scoring help. Rangers, Sens, Preds, Sabres etc

I don't think a 1st is realistic but maybe a 2nd and/or a prospect. Flames could also retain some salary to sweeten the pot.

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#11 danglesnipecelly
June 24 2013, 04:19PM
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please cancel acct wrote:

With the salary cap issue's and Cammi;s 6 million dollar hit ,which teams do you see giving up a first/second round pick?

Tanguay at 3.5 mill, might be easier to move for a prospect or 3/4 round pick

$6mil is a bit steep but its only for one year. Lots of teams looking for top six scoring help. Rangers, Sens, Preds, Sabres etc

I don't think a 1st is realistic but maybe a 2nd and/or a prospect. Flames could also retain some salary to sweeten the pot.

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#12 Kent Wilson
June 24 2013, 04:19PM
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If all the big fish are snapped up in the very thin UFA market in July, Cammalleri might suddenly start to look pretty good to whatever teams are left standing without an upgrade when the music stops.

Of course, that means the Flames won't necessarily get something for him in the upcoming draft, but...

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#13 Parallex
June 24 2013, 04:21PM
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Cool name... very Bond villain-esq. I think I'd prefer Cammarata but Yakimov would be an intersting option if he's gone.

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#14 RickT
June 24 2013, 04:27PM
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The only downside I see to moving Cammalleri is that he seems to mentor the kids a bit. He helped Backlund with his shot over the summer, I read somewhere.

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#15 beloch
June 24 2013, 05:08PM
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Cammalleri's past has shown he's a very driven player who wants to win, so blowing his last productive years with a rebuilding team is probably not an attractive option for him. The Flames *must* move him before his contract is up. The only question is when he'll bring the best return.

This summer, he's not a very affordable option for a lot of teams thanks to the cap-reduction. Cammalleri will be more affordable at the trade-deadline and he does have an impressive playoff record, so he might bring more return as a playoff rental.

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#16 T&A4Flames
June 24 2013, 06:21PM
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beloch wrote:

Cammalleri's past has shown he's a very driven player who wants to win, so blowing his last productive years with a rebuilding team is probably not an attractive option for him. The Flames *must* move him before his contract is up. The only question is when he'll bring the best return.

This summer, he's not a very affordable option for a lot of teams thanks to the cap-reduction. Cammalleri will be more affordable at the trade-deadline and he does have an impressive playoff record, so he might bring more return as a playoff rental.

Problem there is that you risk an injury around the trade deadline and end up with nothing. If we can retain salary and get a good return, you have to move him now IMO.

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#17 SydScout
June 24 2013, 07:13PM
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@Jeff In Lethbridge

Add @RickT comments to this and there appears to be a compelling case for keeping Cammi for team dynamics and junior development. Leadership is necessary during a rebuild, and expect that we don't want a team stacked with young upstarts to go the way of our Albertan brothers up north.

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#18 Q
June 24 2013, 08:11PM
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I'm really discouraged by the fact we've heard virtually zero about flames moves! Hope were not stuck with cammi tanguay sarich and stempniak this yr!

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#19 A Rye Morning
June 24 2013, 08:14PM
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With the abundance of cap space the Flames have I do not see it being a problem for them to eat 2 or 3 million of cammalleri's contract. He easily slots into most teams top six and at only 3 or 4 mil for one season the return should be a mid round first or a second and a decent prospect.

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#20 Jeff Lebowski
June 24 2013, 09:12PM
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Trading players for picks is harder in summer. I think you get good picks at deadline. Players are valued higher than picks at deadline and vice versa in summer. In summer the focus is on draft...

That said, I hope Calgary can get more 1-3 round picks by trading players and not cashing in a 1st. Calgary needs assets, so if they can turn 1 player into 2 assets that would be useful. I hope Feaster gets things done, meaning he closes deals that are in the works.

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#21 RexLibris
June 24 2013, 10:57PM
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With regards to trading Cammalleri, I would propose another way of building a trade: offer to retain $2 million of the salary (leaving another $1 million to negotiate up to), and in return ask for a half-decent prospect (someone whose either redundant within the organization or on the outs, think Omark-esque or a good blueline prospect on a team full of them) but then defer a 2nd round pick to another year.

The time to acquire 2013 picks is past, all the GMs now are going to raise their prices there. But adding one to either next year's draft or the one thereafter gives the Flames another asset down the road and likely improves the relative rate of return on the prospect offered. Deferring the pick gets the price tag far enough away from the GMs immediate concerns that it may be more amenable. Heck, if Feaster finds a real sucker he may even get a conditional 1st in a future draft for him.

It turns an asset who may otherwise be under consideration for a buyout into an immediate prospect that the team can deploy as well as a future pick that could be used in future trades if need be.

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#22 JJGeorge
June 25 2013, 01:17AM
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what about retaining 4 mil of cammy's salary and try getting a first, isn't there still a cap floor? wouldnt trading cammy and tanguay put us close to it? no use in over spending on a thin ufa pool. I just think it would be best to retain as much salary as you can on either player to get a better return... or is there a certain percentage that you can retain?

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#23 Trippinvdub
June 25 2013, 08:28AM
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@JJGeorge

I believe you can only retain up to half of the players salary, so $4mill isn't really an option....

The only move Id be really interested in while retaining some of Cammys Salary would be with the Islanders shipping back Nino. He is exactly the type of return we should be looking for and fills a immediate need on our roster.

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#24 Trippinvdub
June 25 2013, 08:51AM
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I believe you can only retain up to half of the players salary, so $4mill isn't really an option....

The only move Id be really interested in while retaining some of Cammys Salary would be with the Islanders shipping back Nino. He is exactly the type of return we should be looking for and fills a immediate need on our roster.

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#25 please cancel acct
June 25 2013, 09:16AM
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IMO our pick at #22 and how Feaster handles it will go a long way in determining success in this draft. I think there's a slight drop in talent around the #18 pick(Morrissey).There is bound to be some player's teams had on there top 20 list, and if they're still there at #22 ,Calgary will be called. I hope we can turn this pick into a prospect and a 2nd rounder.

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#26 RexLibris
June 25 2013, 11:28AM
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please cancel acct wrote:

IMO our pick at #22 and how Feaster handles it will go a long way in determining success in this draft. I think there's a slight drop in talent around the #18 pick(Morrissey).There is bound to be some player's teams had on there top 20 list, and if they're still there at #22 ,Calgary will be called. I hope we can turn this pick into a prospect and a 2nd rounder.

Exactly. What Feaster and Weisbrod do at #22 will tell the fans a lot about how they are approaching the coming year, in my opinion.

If they start to gamble and reach for players there then it is likely they gamble again at free-agency.

If they take a concensus pick, someone considered in the range and who indicates that they will be developed with patience, then I think one could assume a more reasoned approach will be taken in July.

My early guess is that if he is still available, it'll be Petan. And I think that would be a good idea, unless there is another skilled forward available with more size.

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#27 please cancel acct
June 25 2013, 12:31PM
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If Erne or Morrissey were still available, the Flames would have to take them or get a high end prospect plus 2nd round pickp>

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#28 Jeff Lebowski
June 25 2013, 01:02PM
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There is something about Cammy that bugs me. Not just him but with many guys that ave come through here. It may very well be quite trivial and I'm out if my mind but I really dislike guys who don't show great emotion after goals are scored. I understand the humble, act like you've done it before, don't show up the opposition approach. I know guys like Hull, Sakic (my long time fav) and Kariya were great players who competed hard but didn't show the exuberance etc etc I really want guys who show unashamed passion when their teams score. Ovechkin, Kane, Crosby. Not saying stars like those but remember McCarty and Amonte. One of em had a great quote about liking guys who really celebrated, saying it revealed a personality. Let loose, play loose, play for scoring goals and having fun. Don't hold back, be reserved or whatever. With a rebuild and young players I want the team to have that kind of personality or DNA. The vets you keep or bring in should reflect that. I'm kind of tired of Cammy's nod and glove taps (I love his goals though). I'd like to see more Ovechkin like tackles. Obviously you want guys who can play/produce first most but all things being equal... Visible joy in the game. I think it means a lot in many ways.

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