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 2020 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 Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we look at Pavel Gogolev.
Undrafted in 2018, and again in 2019, Guelph Storm forward Pavel Gogolev had a huge season, putting himself back on the draft radar for 2020. The big Russian winger scored 45 goals and added 51 assists for 96 points in 63 games before the season was cut short due to the global pandemic. He was named to the OHL’s Third All-Star Team.
Gogolev was drafted with the 8th overall pick in the 2016 OHL Draft by the Peterborough Petes. He put up just five goals and 11 points in 53 games in his rookie season. He also failed to put up any points in three playoff games. Gogolev played for Russia at the 2016 Under-17 World Hockey Challenge. He scored one goal in the tournament and won a bronze medal. Gogolev improved in his second year in the OHL, scoring 30 goals and 47 points in 66 games. Gogolev was traded from Peterborough to Guelph at the 2019 OHL Trade Deadline. He finished the 2018-19 season with 10 goals and 28 points in 37 games. Gogolev also helped the Storm to the OHL Championship, picking up three goals and 10 points in 24 playoff games. He had two assists at the Memorial Cup.
Pavel Gogolev Scouting Report
Left Wing — shoots Left
Born February 19th, 2000 — Moscow, Russia
Height 6’1″ — Weight 181 lbs [185 cm/82 kg]
Gogolev is a very good skater. His top-end speed is above average. However, his first step and his acceleration are both very good. This makes Gogolev seem even quicker, as he can quickly change speeds and catch defenders flat-footed. He also has very good edgework and agility. This makes him dangerous on the rush. He is able to get away from defenders both with and without the puck. Gogolev has increased his lower body strength and improved the power and balance in his stride over his time in the OHL. He can fight through checks and is strong on the puck along the boards and in front of the net.
Gogolev combines his skating with good puck control. He has the speed and acceleration to beat defenders wide and cut to the net. Add to this the ability to stickhandle and make plays while moving at top speed, and the potential for a dynamic winger is there. His wrist shot has good power and a quick release, but he needs a little work on his accuracy. He can also work the half-boards on the power play, quarterbacking things. His agility allows him to move laterally to open up shooting lanes. When defenders back off to respect his skating, he can use them as a screen and fire the puck on net. Gogolev is not afraid to get to the front of the net and can score from in tight, using his good hand-eye coordination to finish in tight as well as his soft hands.
While he prefers to shoot, Gogolev can also play the role of a playmaker. He has good stickhandling and can control the puck, allowing his teammates time to find open spaces. Once they do, he has the vision to find them and can make some nice passes through tight lanes. He is able to use his size and strength to control the puck down low and make plays in the cycle game. Gogolev is also good on the forecheck. He pressures defenders into making mistakes. Once they do, he is able to use his skill to create offensive chances.
Gogolev has previously been criticized for his effort level, especially in the defensive end of the ice. He has shown big improvements in this area and is even now used as a penalty killer by the Storm. He provides support to the defence down low in playing against the cycle and provides backpressure against the rush. Gogolev still has some issues with his positioning and in leaving the defensive zone early in trying to create offence. He will need to continue to work on his game at the next level.
Projection and Comparison
Gogolev has offensive skills and has improved his skating and effort level since his draft year. His increased willingness to go to the dirty areas of the ice also have improved his draft stock. He must continue to get stronger and improve his defensive game to have a chance at the NHL level. With four years of OHL hockey behind him, he can jump immediately into the AHL next year and is more advanced than many of this year’s draft prospects. His game is reminiscent of Filip Forsberg, but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and potential.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Pavel Gogolev that are available on youtube and twitter.
5-point night for #8 Cam Hillis (3G, 2A). He is developing a great chemistry with Pavel Gogolev. pic.twitter.com/n1F7ZOzt6p
— David St-Louis (@DavidSt_Louis) October 19, 2019
— Randy Robitaille (@RobitailleRandy) August 13, 2019
Fourth year OHLer Pavel Gogolev led the charge for @Storm_City with a 9️⃣6️⃣-point production, finishing sixth overall in league scoring and fourth in goals with 4️⃣5️⃣🚨 on the campaign 🎥 pic.twitter.com/KMAL5T9bEU
— Ontario Hockey League (@OHLHockey) April 21, 2020
Cam Hillis opens the scoring for Guelph after a great behind-the-back pass from Pavel Gogolev.
— Caitlin Berry (@caitlinsports) November 20, 2019
— Randy Robitaille (@RobitailleRandy) April 24, 2020
🚨 Hit 'em with the four like @Pavel_gogolev17
— Guelph Storm (@Storm_City) December 11, 2019
#GoHabsGo prospect Cam Hillis finds Pavel Gogolev who makes no mistake scoring
— Costa Rontzocos (@Rontzeeez) January 12, 2020
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Pavel Gogolev Main Photo:
OSHAWA, ON – DECEMBER 15: Pavel Gogolev #17 of the Guelph Storm scores in the first period on Zachary Paputsakis #33 of the Oshawa Generals while his teammate Giovanni Vallati #11 looks on during an OHL game at the Tribute Communities Centre on December 15, 2019 in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images)