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 2021 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 “2021 NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we bring you our Alexander Kisakov Scouting Report.
Playing in the Dynamo Moscow system, Alexander Kisakov has not yet made his KHL debut, but has dominated at the MHL level this past season. In 61 games he scored 36 goals and 37 assists for 73 points. He also added five goals and five assists for 10 points in 14 playoff games, helping lead Dynamo Moscow to the MHL title. It was a big improvement on his 2019-20 season when Kisakov played 34 games at the MHL level, scoring two goals and 16 assists for 18 points. He also played in four games for the Russian Under-18 that year, scoring two goals and three assists for five points. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 Pandemic cancelled the 2020 IIHF Under-18s and he was unable to show off his skills in the signature tournament.
In 2018-19 Kisakov was limited to just five MHL games, picking up two assists. He also played eight games in the Under-18 Russian League, scoring three goals and six assists for nine points. In 19 games at the Under-17 level, he scored eight goals and 11 assists for 19 points. Kisakov also played in seven games for the Russian Under-17 team, picking up two assists.
Alexander Kisakov Scouting Report
Left Wing/Right Wing — shoots Left
Born November 1st, 2002 — Solimansk, Russia
Height 5’10” — Weight 141 lbs [177 cm / 64 kg]
An undersized forward, coming in at just 141 pounds, Kisakov makes up for his lack of size with his skating ability. His first step and acceleration are both very good. He wins a lot of short races to loose pucks. He can also change speeds when attacking the zone, fooling defenders and opening up space. However, he is not a speedster. His stride is a bit short and he could be faster if he extends his legs further. Kisakov also has very good agility and edgework. His ability to change directions on a dime allows him to avoid opposing defenders both with and without the puck. He is quick to dart into open areas of the ice. Kisakov will need to get stronger and add weight to his frame though. He will need this to be stronger on the puck and to fight through checks when playing against men.
Kisakov is a pure goal scorer. He has an excellent wrist shot and a very quick release. His ability to toe-drag and change the angle on his shot before letting it go can cause issues for opposing goaltenders. Kisakov is a smart player who finds open space away from defenders and sets himself up to take a pass and fire it on the net. He also has a very good one-timer. Kisakov can shoot off his wrong foot as well. This can also create issues for goaltenders. He is willing to try and get into the tough areas of the ice but needs to be bigger and stronger to fight through tough checking in these areas.
Kisakov has the soft hands to control the puck in the offensive zone. His quick stickhandling movements and good lateral agility allow him to open up passing and shooting lanes. He also has very good vision and hockey IQ, making the smart play with the puck. When a teammate is open he can set them up for a scoring chance. Kisakov is particularly effective on the power play. He is able to quarterback the play from the half boards, distributing to teammates and creating scoring chances.
Kisakov’s defensive game is a bit of a work in progress. His lack of size is a real issue as he can be outmuscled by bigger and stronger opponents. He also needs to pay attention to details and be a bit better in his positioning. Kisakov likes to fly the zone early, trying to create offensive chances. However, this can leave his team a bit short-handed in the defensive end of the ice at times. He also has a tendency to watch the puck a bit too much, losing his man in coverage. These are areas that can be improved with some work and good coaching, but he will really need to work on having a good stick and using his positioning in exceptional ways to overcome the lack of size.
Projection and Comparison
Kisakov has the offensive skills to develop into a top-six winger at the NHL level. However, his lack of size is a big question mark. He will need to add muscle to his frame without losing his quickness. The questions about how his game will translate when playing against men are big ones, as even as a late 2002 birthday, he has not been given the opportunity to play against men in the VHL or KHL yet. He is a bit of a boom or bust prospect and likely a long-term project. Expect Kisakov to spend a few years in Russia before coming to play on North American ice. His game is reminiscent of Johnny Gaudreau, but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Alexander Kisakov that are available on youtube and twitter.
— 2021 NHL Draft Tracker (@NHLDraftWatch) November 10, 2020
Russia Blue retakes the lead, 4-3.
🚨 Pavel Tyutnev ('20)
🍎 Alexander Kisakov ('21)
🍎🍎 Kirill Melnichenko ('20) pic.twitter.com/m9ibpNT0A0
— 🇨🇿 Dylan Griffing (@GriffingDylan) May 24, 2021
4-2, Russia Blue.
🚨 Alexander Kisakov ('21)
🍎 Kirill Melnichenko ('20)
🍎🍎 Pavel Tyutnev ('20) pic.twitter.com/we5vmYyVgy
— 🇨🇿 Dylan Griffing (@GriffingDylan) May 23, 2021
Alexander Kisakov ('21) struck twice vs. Tayfun, his 29th and 30th goals of the season. There's now a four goal difference between Kisa and the 2nd highest goal tally in the MHL (Matvei Michkov – 26).#2021NHLDraft | 🎥 #MHL pic.twitter.com/qJDLKgxHHp
— 🇨🇿 Dylan Griffing (@GriffingDylan) January 24, 2021
#MHL: Two elite goal scorers lit the lamp on Wednesday in SKA-1946's 6-3 win over Dyn. Moscow. RW Matvei Mitchkov scored his MHL-best 34th & 35th goals, including this dart off a feed from C Ilya Ivantsov (Ranked No. 50). LW Alexander Kisakov (No. 36) scored his 33rd in defeat pic.twitter.com/IavJJPKj5j
— Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) February 25, 2021
Come back tomorrow for our latest NHL Draft article.
Alexander Kisakov Scouting Report Main Photo:
(Upside: N/R, Star%: 21, FS+:129)
– Weighs 140lbs (!)
– Is Russian (might prefer to stay)
– Barely shows up in rankings
— Ferengihockey (@ferengihockey) May 26, 2021