Pavel Mintyukov Scouting Report: 2022 NHL Draft #13

Pavel Mintyukov Scouting Report
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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 2022 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 Pavel Mintyukov Scouting Report. 

Russian Defenceman Pavel Mintyukov was drafted in the 1st round, 52nd overall by the Saginaw Spirit in the 2020 CHL Import Draft. Due to Covid, the 2020-21 season was wiped out, and Mintyukov missed a year of hockey. However, it has not seemed to hurt the Moscow-native as he had an outstanding season this year. Mintyukov put up 17 goals and 45 assists for 62 points in 67 games. His numbers are even more impressive when you consider the fact that the Spirit were the second-worst team in the league this year. He also played in the CHL Top Prospects Game.

In 2019-20 Mintyukov played for Russia at the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge. He scored five assists in six tournament games. Mintyukov helped the Russian team to the Gold Medal. He also appeared in 33 games for Dynamo Moscow’s affiliate in the MHL. Mintyukov scored one goal and two assists for three points. He added one goal in one game in the Russian Under-18 league playoffs. Mintyukov also scored a goal and an assist for two points in three regular-season games in the Russian Under-17 league.

Pavel Mintyukov Scouting Report

Left Defence — shoots Left
Born November 25th, 2003 — Moscow, Russia
Height 6’1″ — Weight 197 lbs [185 cm/89 kg]

Skating

Mintyukov’s game is defined by his dynamic skating ability. He is one of the best skaters in this class. Mintyukov has a long and powerful stride. This allows him to generate excellent speed and acceleration in both directions. Mintyukov loves to push the pace and is very focused on helping to generate offence. With his speed, he is able to do that and still get back to his own end of the rink to defend at times.

He also has outstanding agility and edgework. Mintyukov can quickly change directions, moving both forwards and backwards. He walks the line in the offensive zone, and his agility allows him to mirror defenders on the rush. He also has crisp pivots which allow him to transition quickly from offence to defence and vice-versa. Couple this with a well-developed frame for his age and Mintyukov is tough to knock off the puck and good in board battles.

Offensive Game

Mintyukov’s shot improved as the year went along. He has a heavy wrist shot, though he could work on his accuracy just a bit. This isn’t a huge criticism but keeping the puck low and on the net, a bit more often could create even more opportunities for teammates to get rebounds and deflections. He loves to sneak in from the point and let his wrist shot go from the faceoff circles. He also has a good snapshot that he can use on the rush. Mintyukov has a strong slap shot and one-timer and uses these effectively on the power play. His ability to walk the line helps him to open up passing lanes.

Mintyukov marries his strong skating with very good puck handling skills. He moves the puck through the neutral zone and generates effective zone entries. He also has the poise to control the puck in the offensive end and quarterback the power play. Mintyukov can marry a quick deke from his stick with a change in direction to open up a passing lane. He has good vision and sets up teammates for scoring chances with crisp tape-to-tape passes. Mintyukov has a bit of a riverboat gambler aspect to his game. He loves to pinch in the offensive zone to keep plays alive or to become part of the offence. At times this can cost him with an odd-man rush against.

Defensive Game

Mintyukov certainly works hard in the defensive end of the ice but is not always the most efficient. His skating allows him to defend effectively against the rush. He has good gap control and forces attackers to the outside and away from good shooting areas. When a defender does try to take him wide, he can throw a thunderous check. However, he sometimes looks to make too many of those checks, both at the offensive blue line and defending against the rush. This lack of discipline can sometimes get him out of position. He can also work on his play away from the puck, as he can sometimes lose his man when he tries to chase the puck carrier.

Mintyukov’s ability to both start the rush with his feet and his passing means that when a turnover is created it is quickly out of the zone and his team is on the attack. Limiting the opponent’s zone time and pushing for possession is the best part of Mintyukov’s defensive game.

Projection and Comparison

Mintyukov has the size, skill, and physical tools to be a number one defenceman in the NHL. However, he is a bit of a risky pick as there are questions about his defensive game and this may limit him. The reality though is that with good coaching and development, his defensive game can be improved. He has an intriguing package of raw skills and with the proper development plan can really excel. Mintyukov is a November birthdate, so he only needs to play one more season in the OHL, before being eligible for the AHL in 2023-24.  A season of junior and at least a year of AHL hockey would really help him to refine the finer points of his game. His style is reminiscent of P.K. Subban, but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and ability.

Highlights

The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Pavel Minytukov that are available on youtube and Twitter.

 

Check back tomorrow for our latest 2022 NHL Draft Article.

 

Pavel Mintyukov Scouting Report Main Photo:

Embed from Getty Images

KITCHENER, ONTARIO – MARCH 04: Pavel Mintyukov #10 of the skates against the Kitchener Rangers at Kitchener Memorial Auditorium on March 04, 2022 in Kitchener, Ontario. (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images)