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 “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we bring you our Matvei Petrov Scouting Report.
Selected first overall by the North Bay Battalion in the 2020 CHL Import Draft, it looked like there was a good chance Petrov would be headed for the OHL for his draft season. With the COVID pandemic raging, and the OHL season not starting on time, Petrov opted to stay in Russia. He played for MHK Krylia Sovetov Moskva in the MHL. Petrov scored 22 goals and 20 assists for 42 points in 58 games this season. He also played for Team Russia at the IIHF Under-18 World Championships. Petrov would bring a silver medal home from Plano, Texas. He scored just one assist in four tournament games. Petrov was also scratched by the Russian team later in the tournament. Whether he was injured or a healthy scratch was not made clear by the Russian team.
In 2019-20 Petrov put up five goals and four assists for nine points in 21 MHL games. He also played one game each in the Under-18 and Under-17 Russian Leagues. He played one playoff game in the Under-17 league. Petrov also played nine games with the Russian National Under-17 Team. He put up five goals and four assists for nine points.
Matvei Petrov Scouting Report
Left Wing — shoots Right
Born March 12th, 2003 — Gus-Khrustalny, Russia
Height 6’2” — Weight 181 lbs [188 cm/82 kg]
Petrov’s skating needs some work but it is adequate. His first step is decent and his acceleration is ok. He has a bit of a short and choppy stride. If Petrov can work with a good skating coach, he can take that part of his game to the next level. Petrov’s top-end speed would also likely improve. Right now, it is merely average. He has heavy feet. This hurts his lateral agility. It also hurts his crossovers. He doesn’t gain as much speed as he should coming out of turns. Petrov has decent lower body strength. He has decent balance and the ability to battle on the boards. This should only improve as he matures
Petrov is a pure sniper. He has an outstanding array of shots. He loves to set up for his one-timer, especially on the power play. Petrov gets it off with great power as well as excellent accuracy. He also does a good job of adjusting his feet if the pass isn’t perfect. Petrov also has an excellent wrist shot and snapshot. He has a lightning-quick release. Petrov effectively changes the angle on his shot just before shooting. This is extremely deceptive for goalies. He can even score on his backhand. Petrov has a knack for finding soft spots in the defence so he can get his shots off. He is also willing to go to the net.
While he is a shoot-first player, Petrov has underrated playmaking ability. He has good vision and can use those soft hands to open up a passing lane to set up a teammate. The accuracy on his shots certainly translates to his passes as he can make tape-to-tape passes through tight areas. He can also saucer the puck over opponents’ sticks. Petrov is willing to play a physical game in the offensive zone. He is engaged in the forecheck. He is also good at winning battles along the boards.
Petrov’s defensive game is a bit of a work in progress. He needs to be more consistent with his physical play and willingness to battle on the boards. There are times when he is aggressive and strong on the puck. However, there are other times when he is a bit disengaged. Petrov also needs to work on his coverage away from the puck. He can leave the zone early at times, or look to create an offensive chance and leave his man open. Petrov also presses hard in the offensive zone, which can make him a defensive liability at times. His lack of explosive skating and agility can also hurt him when his opponent is very good in short bursts.
Projection and Comparison
Petrov has many the tools to be a top-six winger. His ability to shoot the puck is amongst the best in the draft class. He also has the smarts to get open and the playmaking ability to be a threat beyond just his shooting. However, he will need to work on his skating and defensive game in order to make the most of those skills. Petrov has the type of game that can put up points but also drive coaches nuts and have him as a healthy scratch at times as well. His game is reminiscent of Patrick Laine. This is a stylistic comparison only though and not one based on skill and ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Matvei Petrov that are available on Youtube as well as Twitter.
— Dylan Griffing (@GriffingDylan) February 17, 2021
— Dylan Griffing (@GriffingDylan) March 8, 2021
— Lassi Alanen (@lassialanen) August 9, 2019
— Lassi Alanen (@lassialanen) August 9, 2019
— 2021 NHL Draft Tracker (@NHLDraftWatch) December 10, 2020
With the first overall pick in the 2020 #CHLImportDraft the North Bay Battalion select Matvei Petrov.
— North Bay Battalion (@OHLBattalion) June 30, 2020
Matvei petrov #22 6 foot 1 forward🇷🇺 matvei was an important forward for the russia at the under 17. He is good to slow the game and create some good chance with his iq. He is smart with the puck down low and try to keep it simple. He is a two way forward. #nhldraft2021 pic.twitter.com/RTkyoRuZNH
— Alexandre Morand (@alexmorehockey) June 19, 2020
— Dan Milstein-Hockey (@HockeyAgent1) June 30, 2020
Check back later for our next draft article.
Matvei Petrov Scouting Report Main Photo:
— OntarioHockeyLeague (@OHLHockey) June 30, 2020