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Nikolay Goldobin became the offensive catalyst for the Sarnia Sting this season following the graduations of Charles Sarault and Reid Boucher. Playing on a weak and rebuilding club, and facing the other team’s top checkers every night, Goldobin still put up 38 goals and 94 points in 64 games for Sarnia. He was the Sting’s first round pick, 36th overall, in the 2012 CHL Import Draft. So far the biggest mark Goldobin has made in North America came last season. He scored four goals, including the overtime winner, in helping the Sting to end the London Knights win streak at 24 games, just one game short of tying the CHL record for consecutive wins.
Like Ivan Barbashev, Goldobin will face questions about the Russian factor despite playing in the CHL for the last two seasons.
Right Wing — shoots Left
Born Oct 7 1995 — Mockobckar, Russia
Height 5.11 — Weight 185 [183 cm/84 kg]
Nikolay Goldobin has outstanding offensive skill. There is no doubt about that, the guy knows how to put up points, and has all the tools to do so. He is blessed with the ability to stickhandle in a phone booth. His wide array of moves can leave defenders spinning. He also has a killer wrist shot, and an outstanding release. Goldobin also has a very effective one-timer. Add to all of this great hockey sense and the ability to find holes in the defense. Top it all of with some incredible vision and passing skils, and there is no doubt about Goldobin’s abilities in the offensive end of the ice. When he is on his game, he is quite simply a dynamic offensive catalyst for Sarnia. Goldobin can play a high speed game off the rush, or he can show poise with the puck and be patient and wait for an opening in the offensive zone. He doesn’t seem to get flustered often with the puck on his stick, and if he has the time and space out there, chances are that he will take advantage of it.
Goldobin is a very good skater. His top end speed and his acceleration are both well above average. He also has outstanding agility and edgework which makes him extremely elusive both off the rush and in the cycle game. His balance could be improved, as he will need to add strength. He can sometimes be knocked off the puck by bigger and stronger defenders, and this also hurts him in his ability to win board battles.
Goldobin will also need to improve his defensive game. He sometimes can get puck watching out there, and he likes to cheat to create offensive chances. He needs a lot of coaching in this aspect, and it is something that is very much a work in progress at this point in his career. He also needs to bring the same intensity at the defensive end of the ice that he brings at the offensive end.
In terms of style, Goldobin reminds me of a cross between Alex Semin and Mike Ribeiro, however these are stylistic comparisons only. In terms of potential, Goldobin is a real boom or bust prospect. His defensive game, size and inconsistent effort level could lead some to believe he will never become an effective NHLer, however his talent level is amongst the best in this draft, and if he reaches his potential he can be a true top line offensive catalyst.
Here are some highlights of Nickolay Goldobin in action.
Check back tomorrow for my number 21 ranked prospect.
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