Screen cap courtesy Cogeco TV
This is going to make a lot of people very happy.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have snapped up talented Sarnia Sting forward Nikita Korostelev with the 185th pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That’s pretty amazing, as Korostelev was widely regarded as a 2nd or 3rd round talent.
At 6’1, 196lbs, the right-shooting Korostelev put up 24 goals and 53 points in 55 games for Sarina, leading the team in scoring. Born in Moscow, Korostelev crossed the Atlantic years ago and played for the Toronto Jr. Canadiens before being drafted into the OHL.
Across the board, Korostelev was ranked higher than where the Leafs were able to take him. NHL Central Scouting ranked him 50th among North American skaters, while ISS ranked him 60th and Future Considerations ranked him 62nd. Korostelev also appeared at 69th on TSN’s Bob McKenzie’s list, and ESPN’s Corey Pronman had him 61st.
From Future Considerations…
Korostelev has the potential to be a dominate player at every level he plays at. The problem
is that his desire and inconsistent efforts do not always make that a priority. He has an abun-
dance of high-end tools to work with. He’s a fantastic skater, has a great set of hands and has
the offensive instincts you can’t teach. He gains possession of the puck and protects it very well.
He also has the ability to find and distribute the puck well, and is a catalyst on the powerplay.
He moves fluidly through the opposition. He has a rocket of a shot, but needs to shoot it more
often. His shot also has the ability to find its way through traffic. He has the release that can fool
goaltenders, but he can get too fancy with the puck and try to make a play to a teammate as opposed to burying an open opportunity. He uses his smarts and vision to get to open ice to create
more passing options. He has good hands and a knack for making defenders look silly when
they least expect it. Defensively, he isn’t 100 percent committed, but he gets to the point with
speed to cover his man and block shooting lanes.
NHL Potential: Top Line Offensive Winger
And more from Pronman…
He’s a pretty good physical forward with a filled-out frame, and he displays a strong power game with the puck. Korostelev can play a perimeter game as well as the inside game due to his impressive hands and vision. He also has a high-end shot, as his one-timers generate a ton of velocity. His skating is a bit of a knock, as he lacks a separation gear coming down the wing.
Other Leafs Picks…
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