Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2015 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Sports is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! The following is a complete listing of all our 2016 Draft Articles.
Its almost here, draft day. With 75 NHL Draft scouting reports in the books, I now make a number of shorter write-ups over the next few days to take us over 100 prospects ranked and reviewed. If history is any indication, some of these players will get taken in the fourth, fifth, and sixth rounds. In my opinion they will be big time steals at those picks.
2016 NHL Draft Scouting Reports: Players 76-80
#76 Matt Filipe, Left Wing/Centre, Cedar Rapids Roughriders (USHL) 6’2″ 203 lbs
Filipe is a strong skater, with good size. He projects as a power forward at the next level. He has very good speed, agility and acceleration; especially for a big man. Filipe is not afraid to get involved physically, and does so in all three zones. He battles hard along the boards, and works hard to establish position in front of the net. Filipe uses his soft hands to finish plays in close. He quickly pounces on rebounds, and has the hand-eye co-ordination to tip in-shots. He could improve his vision and passing skills, and as a result likely projects as a winger going forward. Filipe also has a well-developed defensive game, showing good positioning defensively.
Filipe’s father played college hockey at Northwestern University. He is committed to play for Northwestern next season, following in his father’s footsteps. He put up 19 goals and 36 points in 56 games this season, helping Cedar Rapids to finish first overall in the USHL regular season.
#77 Cole Candella, Defence, Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL) 6’1″ 185 lbs
Candella is a tough player to rank, as he was limited to just 37 games this season due to a wrist injury. When he did play, he was the Bulldogs top defenceman, playing big minutes and in all situations. Candella scored four goals and 20 points for Hamilton, while also being tasked with playing against the opponents number one line. He is a good skater, with strong edgework and pivots. He has great mobility in both directions, that really helps him be a two-way player. Candella has good stickhandling ability, and can skate the puck away from fore checkers and out of danger. He is also a very good passer, both in starting the transition game and acting as a power play quarterback.
Defensively, Candella has good positioning and awareness in the defensive zone. He could be even better if he develops more of a physical game. He is not afraid to be physical in front of the net, or in the corners, but could be a bigger hitter. This may come with added muscle.
#78 Yegor Korshkov, Right Wing, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (KHL) 6’3″ 179 lbs
Undrafted in 2014 and 2015; Korshkov goes through the draft for the third time. He really opened eyes with his World Junior Championship performance, where he put up eight points in seven games. His efforts helped the Russians to a silver medal. He already has experience playing against men, as he has spent most of the last two seasons with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in the KHL. He could fall in the draft due to the fact that he still has two years on his KHL contract.
Korshkov has excellent size, but will need to add some muscle to his frame. He is an excellent play maker, as he uses excellent stick handling skill to slow the play down and wait for teammates to get open. He is strong on his skates, and has the agility to go with his stick-handling and beat defenders one-on-one. Korshkov uses his body to win battles on the boards, and to protect the puck in the cycle game. This should get even better as he grows into his body and gets stronger. He has high end hockey IQ and almost always seems to make the smart play with the puck on his stick.
#79 Andrew Peeke, Defence, Green Bay Gamblers (USHL) 6’3″ 205 lbs
Peeke put up 30 points in 56 games as a USHL rookie with the Green Bay Gamblers. His efforts earned him the USHL’s Scholar-Athlete award, and a spot on the All-Rookie Team. He also played for Team USA at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament and the World Junior “A” Hockey Challenge. Peeke committed to play for the University of Notre Dame starting next season.
Peeke has excellent size, and uses it to play a strong defensive game. He is willing to be physical along the boards and in front of the net. Peeke can also throw big hits, and punish forwards who attack his side of the ice with their head down. He shows good positioning, as well as the willingness to block shots. Smith is not just a defensive defender though. He has a good first pass, that starts his team’s transition game. He also makes smart pinches at the blue line, and has decent speed to get back quickly, even when he gets caught. He can stand to work on his agility and edge work though, as he struggles at times with his lateral movement. He could also improve his slap shot, and wrist shot.
#80 Artur Kayumov, Left Wing, Russia U18 NTDP (MHL) 5’10” 154 lbs
Artur Kayumov played this season for the Russian National Team Development Program Under 18 squad. He led the team in scoring with 31 points in 39 games. The Russian Hockey Federation intended that the squad would represent them to the IIHF U-18 World Championships, but a performance enhancing drug scandal curtailed those plans. Kayumov played at the Ivan Hlinka tournament (six points in five games), and the World Junior A Hockey Championships (six points in four games). His KHL rights belong to Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, as he came up in their youth system.
Kayumov is undersized, and will really need to bulk up before playing against men. He is an outstanding skater, with tremendous speed and acceleration. Kayumov has great stick handling and can beat defenders one-on-one, and marries this with the agility to get around them. Kayumov has an outstanding wrist shot. It has great power and very good accuracy, and he fools goalies with a very quick release. He also has outstanding vision and passing skills. Overall he has the raw skills to be an offensive dynamo, however questions will persist about his size as well as the Russian factor. This could really drop him come draft day.
Check back tomorrow for the latest on the NHL Draft.