More size? More size. Heading into the fifth round of the draft, the Toronto Maple Leafs have selected their second goliath-sized defenceman in Fedor Gordeev.
Gordeev is going to be the “tear the fanbase apart” pick of this draft. Those who love a tough, intimidating team will love that he comes in at 6’6, 211 pounds, and they’ll really love that he’s Toronto raised, and that was super, super happy to be picked:
Fedor Gordeev upon hearing his name called by hometown #Leafs: "I started crying, not going to lie. It was unbelievable."
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) June 24, 2017
Gordeev, who was actually born in Omsk, Russia before moving here as a kid, got his local hockey reps in playing for the Vaughan Kings, Toronto Red Wings, Milton Icehawks, and Ancaster Avalanche. An early 1999, Gordeev converted from forward to defence a few years back.
Playing just ten games with the Hamilton Bulldogs before being traded, Gordeev picked up just 13 points in 62 games with the Flint Firebirds this year. In his defence, Flint weren’t particularly lights out, but that still ranks fifth among his fellow defensive teammates in points.
That’s where the question marks come. Generally speaking, you want a guy in a man’s frame to dominate against boys, and his production doesn’t quite reflect that. In theory, a player who can’t score in the OHL likely won’t be able to do much more at the pro ranks, which makes it seem very unlikely that he’ll be wearing the blue in white in more than rookie tournaments and early preseason games.
At the same time, he’s only got a year of Junior A and a year of Major Junior to his name. “He’s raw” tends to be a justification for many size-based selections, but it might ring true here.
To sum it up, I’m not sure if I particularly like this pick, but I’m willing to give a little more wiggle room than I usually would in a situation like this. His next impression is going to have to be a very good one, though, for him to have a good shot at success.