Gleb Trikozov Scouting Report: 2022 NHL Draft

Gleb Trikozov
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The Russian hockey circuit, despite all the craziness happening out in the east, still has a few strong prospects entering the 2022 draft. At the top of the list includes Danila Yurov and Gleb Trikozov. After having already looked at Yurov, what does Trikozov bring to the table?

Gleb Trikozov scouting report

Trikozov was born on August 12, 2004, in Omsk, Russia. The 17-year-old has played both at center and right wing throughout the season but has mainly played on the wing. The right-handed forward for Omskie Yastreby recorded 23 goals and 22 assists for 45 points in 35 games with the club this season. That performance allowed him to play 11 games at the VHL level with Omskie Krylia, where he recorded a goal and an assist for two points. Last year, Trikozov scored 15 goals and 15 assists for 30 points in 49 games with Omskie Yastreby as an MHL rookie. 

His performance and short stint in the VHL this season has led to him being ranked anywhere from the mid-first to the early-third round. He is ranked 14th by Smaht Scouting, 15th by FC Hockey, 17th by DobberProspects, 19th by Elite Prospects, 23rd by Recruit Scouting, 33rd by Craig Button, 47th by McKeen’s Hockey, 64th by Bob McKenzie, 66th by The Puck Authority, and 69th by Draft Prospects Hockey. This writer has Trikozov ranked 28th on their unofficial rankings.  

Gleb Trikozov deep dive

This draft class has been an interesting one all season. There is so much depth throughout the class, and that’s led to a lot of disparity between everybody’s rankings. That’s led to instances like the one Trikozov is in, where he gets placed all over the first three rounds. What makes him intriguing to some? What’s led to some of the lower rankings?

Gleb Trikozov’s skating 

Trikozov is an interesting skater. He’s got generally good speed and explosiveness, both with and without the puck. However, it is inconsistent. There were several scenarios where Trikozov was able to catch a defender off-guard with speed in the neutral zone, which allowed him to garner a scoring chance off the rush. In other scenarios, Trikozov lacked that speed and was caught from behind by a backchecker. Another part of Trikozov’s skating that is inconsistent is his edges. There are times when he can complete tight turns and maintain the same speed he had, and other times when he takes long, winding turns, losing speed in the process, and taking himself out of the play. 

On a more technical note, Trikozov only needs minor help. His knee and ankle bend is generally solid, though his knee bend could use a little bit more work. His stride length is also strong, which is what allows him to possess those explosive moments where he can catch a defender off-guard. If he can clean up his stride mechanics a bit and become a more consistent skater, though he may not be elite, he could be one of the better skaters in the league.  

Offensive abilities

Arguably Trikozov’s calling card, his offensive game is what catches the eye of many scouts. Starting with his passing ability, through three tracked playoff games, Trikozov attempted 26 total passes in the offensive zone, completing 19 of them (73.08%). Of those pass attempts, 42.31% of them were aimed toward high danger areas(the average for passes aimed at high danger is 23.93% among 21 forwards). 

Trikozov is always looking to get the puck into the low slot area, as seen with the sheer amount of passes he sends to high-danger spots, relative to the rest of the tracked forwards. He is a threat with the puck on his stick, as he can process the game at an extremely high level and deliver high-end passes. But it isn’t the only threat in his arsenal. 

Gleb Trikozov’s shooting ability

In those three playoff games, Trikozov fired 11 total shots, hitting the net seven times (63.64%). Of those 11 shots, Trikozov shot 45.45% of them from high danger areas (the average is 42.7%). He hit the net on 80% of those high-danger shots, which is above the average of 69.86% by quite a bit. His ability to attack those high-danger areas consistently, while still being effective, is a huge trait that will translate well. 

One thing to remember, however, is he plays in the MHL, which is notorious for poor defence. The good news is, while they weren’t tracked, his performance in the VHL was indicative that he can still be effective at a higher level of play. 

What do these numbers tell us?

Gleb Trikozov is an excellent offensive presence. He attacks high-danger areas on the ice consistently, and he is effective in doing so more than he is not. That being said, the MHL is extremely weak defensively. Despite Trikozov still providing a strong presence at the VHL level, that’s still not a very high level of hockey, and translating such a high-pace, high-danger style could be very difficult as he continues to move up.

Not to mention, Trikozov can, at times, be inconsistent. There are shifts where he will go without touching the puck a single time, or when he does, he fails to generate offence. Then there are other shifts where he makes your jaw drop, carrying his line and setting up chances for teammates or getting in high-danger spots for chances of his own. If he can be more consistent, he could be lethal. The way he analyzes the game and moves so well without the puck, he has a very high upside. 

Gleb Trikozov’s transitional abilities

Trikozov is a strong transitional player. He was involved in 30 zone exit attempts directly, and he cleared the puck out with possession on 56.67% of them (the average for zone exit percentage is 56.94%). That included 36.67% of his exits being cleared directly out by him (known as individual zone exits, and the average for individual zone exits is 33%). 

When it comes to entering the offensive zone, he was involved directly in 32 entry attempts. He entered the offensive zone with possession on 59.38% of them (the average is 64%). He also had individual controlled entries on 43.75% of them (the average is 46%). While he is below average in almost every transitional category, he is at least really close to the average in every stat. However, he plays in a larger ice rink than most of the players who are tracked. Due to playing in Russia, and in a league that features weak defence. He should, realistically, be above average in every stat here. 

Diving deeper into Gleb Trikozov’s transitional numbers

Part of the reason for Trikozov’s struggles in transition is due to his inconsistent skating. His acceleration is not poor, but it’s only average, and paired with his inconsistent speed, he struggles against pressure. With the neutral zone generally being full of traffic, Trikozov has trouble navigating on his own. That’s led to him turning the puck over due to back checkers catching up and pick-pocketing him. 

Additionally, he rushes passes on occasion. He has a knack for picking up his head and scanning the ice really quickly, which is an important trait. But when he does corral the puck, he usually spins and fires a pass while collecting the puck, all in one motion. When it works, it looks like an incredible play by Trikozov. But when it doesn’t, it looks bad. It could’ve been avoided had he just held on to the puck a little longer. He needs to take a couple of strides to find a smarter and safer pass.  

Gleb Trikozov defensive zone play

Trikozov is a strong defensive option. As mentioned before, he scans the ice so well. He’s able to anticipate the play at an extremely high level. That translates the most evidently to the defensive zone. He forces a lot of turnovers with his active stick, and he always ends up where the puck goes. Trikozov helps the defence down low, helping defend the slot and corners. 

The reason his anticipation and ability to be in the right spot consistently is so evident is because, generally, he isn’t engaged in the defensive zone. Yet, he reads the play three steps ahead and finds himself in the action constantly. If he could be more consistent when it comes to engaging himself in the play more and being more aggressive, Trikozov could wind up being one of the better defensive forwards in this class.  

What is Gleb Trikozov’s potential?

Gleb Trikozov shows the traits that a lot of scouts want to see. The way he reads the play and always looks several steps ahead of everyone else is incredible. His vision with the puck in the offensive zone is also high-end. Off-puck movement is another strength in his game. His ability to consistently find open space for his teammates to set him up adds another element to his offensive game. Improving his transitional game and creating more chances off the rush would go a long way in adding another layer to his offensive game. Meanwhile, his defensive game is both impressive and lacking. That’s due to an incredible IQ and play-reading skills, but not much of a motor. 

All that being said, it is truly hard to project what exactly Gleb Trikozov could wind up becoming. Playing in the MHL, a very weak league, it’s hard to know how well his skills will translate at a considerably higher level. Based on his raw skills, Trikozov could become a future staple of a teams top six. He has the ability to lead his own line and provide value on the powerplay, while also being responsible in his own end, a-la Blake Coleman without the physicality. But, the transition from the MHL to the KHL, and then the transition from European rinks to North American rinks, can be extreme. That, ultimately, leads to Trikozov’s floor being very low. High-risk, high-reward. Which team will take the chance?
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