Not every second-round target article will feature a player that is definitely going to be available with the 59th overall pick, but there is an outside possibility this player can fall to that spot. A first-round talent in terms of skill, let’s look at a Russian player: Gleb Trikozov.

Scouting report

One would immediately wonder why someone with potential first round talent falls in such a draft – and that would be a rightful suspicion. With the political and humanitarian state of the Russian – Ukrainian war anything could happen. Trikozov isn’t someone you would throw into the NHL anyways, so he can stay and progress through the Russian development system without having to rush him over to North America.
His rankings have a huge variance in them as well. Highest we’ve seen is Smaht Scouting having him ranked eighth overall while Draft Prospects Hockey has him ranked 66th. TSN’s Bob McKenzie had him 57th on his consensus rankings – right in the Flames range for picking.
Will he blow you away with his defensive play? There are times, but it’s not consistent. But, where he does shine is in the neutral and offensive zones. His stick-handling ability will improve and he will be a pain in the rear for attackers who struggle to defend against flashy stick-handling. Trikozov can carry his own line and has proven at the MHL level that he is slightly under matched. There are games where he doesn’t exert aggression and play tight to the vest hockey on the forecheck but has shown that he has the speed and the capability to do so at the VHL level.
The true strength from Trikozov comes In the form of his Neutral Zone pursuit. He is relentless at trying to get the puck back and in-turn creates more turnovers allowing him to transition back to playing offence. He was very adept at finding entries into the offensive zone and maintaining possession of the puck instead of losing it. Stickhandling and decision making on the fly are at top notch levels for a 17-year-old. The raw talent and potential he possess are massive – they just need to be developed further for a team to find a gem.
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Will Scouch of Scouching.com had this to say for McKeen’s Hockey:
He’s the 2nd highest offensive transition volume player both controlled and total transitions, he’s the most involved player in offensive transitions of anyone tracked, maintained control on 76% of those transitions, and is the number one player in terms of total transitions where he’s involved going either direction on the ice. 35% of his offensive transitions were completed carries, which is also highly notable. Once the puck is in the offensive zone, as you’d expect, Trikozov is just hilarious. His offensive threat is above 30, he’s top 10 in the share of total team shot attempts that are Trikozov from dangerous space, he’s top 15 in both dangerous pass attempts and dangerous shot attempts and took or created 58% of his team’s total shot attempts, putting him 2nd in my dataset, and that number was over 60% before the final game I tracked.
Improvements can be made to his forechecking ability – but one would like to see him play against higher level competition more before truly making any drastic adjustments to the young man’s game. Defensively as a winger he could be a bit more reliable as well. Understanding of his coverage and role – but there was nobody better in his league at transitioning the puck from defence to offence. Getting him a better-quality center could also see massive developmental strides come his way.

The numbers

In terms of point production rate in the MHL (Russian junior hockey) Trikozov put up the second highest point-per-game production in the leagues history for player in their draft season – just behind Nikita Kucherov and ahead of the likes of Artemi Panarin.
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Let’s just say points aren’t the weak spot in his game. When playing up with the VHL club he got very little ice time and still managed to sneak in 11 appearances. Young players don’t see too much time in the Russian men’s leagues, so any sort of tangible production is a great sign.
He had 15 goals and 15 assists in the MHL as a 16-year-old. Following that up this season with 23 goals and 22 assists (45 points) in 35 games for his draft season. Add in 10 goals in 13 playoff games and you can see a bit of clutch ability in Trikozov. We always take note he’s in a weaker developmental league, but his numbers are too bonkers high to simply diminish their value.
In terms of NHLe production we refer to Byron Bader of HockeyPropsecting.com:
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The first year after getting drafted is absolutely crucial for most players to develop into star players, but that doesn’t mean they still can’t turn into productive NHL players. Colorado had stars yes, but they don’t win hockey’s holy grail without good secondary scoring in Burakovsky, Lehkonen, Nichuskin, etc. Trikozov has high potential to end up an NHL player – it will probably be why he’s picked well before Calgary does at 59 – and exactly why if he’s still there I think they should take him.

Availability and fit

A right shot forward prospect that can play wing and dabble at centre – I project him more to be a playmaking winger myself. One that can carry the puck through the neutral zone – have tremendous stickhandling – and great passing vision. Sounds like somebody the Flames may lose to free agency for nothing in a week and a bit.
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He’s got no size problems at 6’1” and 185 lbs. Learning to use his stature more effectively to protect puck along the boards will come with time and solid coaching. Calgary currently just has Matthew Coronato as a potential top-6 RW in the pipeline so adding another one would not be a terrible idea. Calgary has also had a problem with having enough skilled right-handed shooting forwards in recent years so adding more of those would be welcomed as well.
I’m steadfast they should always take the best player available based on raw talent – especially when you pick just once in the first 154 picks. If Gleb Trikozov is there at 59th then it is extremely unlikely anybody else will come relatively close to him in terms of offensive skill level. He would be a fantastic/intriguing prospect to watch develop.
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Daily Faceoff: 46th
FC Hockey: 21st
Elite Prospects: 22nd
Bob McKenzie (TSN): 57th
Craig Button (TSN): 43rd
Scott Wheeler (The Athletic): 65th
Smaht Scouting: 8th
Dobber Prospects: 26th

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