It’s been a pretty quiet day for the Flames thus far, but they’ve finally done something, selecting Ilya Nikolayev with their third round pick.
#Flames go with a Russian, grabbing Ilya Nikolayev from Yaroslavl at 88th.
— Ryan Pike (@RyanNPike) June 22, 2019
Nikolayev is from Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in Russia, playing for their MHL team. A 6’0, 190lbs left shooting centre, he put up 10 goals and 15 assists in 41 games played in the MHL. He was ranked anywhere between 28th (ISS) and 74th (hockeyprospect.com) by scouting services. We profiled his game here.
#Flames third-rounder Ilya Nikolaev, through translator, describing his style: “First to play good defensively. And then if you do well at home, then you can go in offensive zone and play attack against the other team.”
— Wes Gilbertson (@WesGilbertson) June 22, 2019
Described as a project pick with top six upside, Nikolayev is described as a player who can be creative in the offensive zone, boasting some pretty strong passing ability. He’ll likely be given time to grow in Russia’s hockey system before coming over to the NHL, one of his goals in his hockey career.
Nikolaev says (through translator) he’s under contract in Russia for the next two seasons. But says he wants to develop his game and would love to come over to North America after that.
— Brendan Parker (@BParkerTV) June 22, 2019
The Flames have picks remaining at 116th, 150th, and 214th at this draft minus any trades. They have already drafted Jakob Pelletier with their first round pick.