One hundred and six. That’s the number of selections between
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
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
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
It’s been no secret that
Rumours have swirled in the Twitterverse about
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