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There is only one Russian among the top 20 defensemen in the NHL. Who among us can be there in the future?

Date: April 17, 2024 Time: 21:35:47

The official website of the National Hockey League featured a list of the top 20 active defensemen. The first place was taken by the player from “Colorado” Cale Makar, and the last owner of the “Norris Trophy” and the newcomer from “Pittsburgh” Erik Karlsson stood only on the eighth line.

Only one Russian entered the top 20 – the defense representative of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Mikhail Sergachev, who was placed in the 17th position. At the same time, such defenders as Dmitry Orlov, Ivan Provorov and Vladislav Gavrikov, considered one of the best players Russians in office, were left off the list.

The full list of the top 20 defensemen in the NHL:

Sergachev entered the top 20 of the best defenders according to the NHL

It looks like Sergachev will appear on the NHL’s best defenseman list for over a year. And which of the promising Russians can keep him company in the future?

Mikhail Gulyaev

The defender of the Avangard system had a great time last season in the MHL: in the regular season, Gulyaev scored more points per game on average than even many forwards can boast, and in the playoffs he was quite productive, being a key player. in the defense of the Omsk Falcons. Also last year was his debut in adult hockey – Mikhail, born in 2005, played a solid segment of 12 matches with four points and “+7” in the VHL, and in the KHL his stay was limited to 13 matches, one assist in the second game and an overall “-1”, which is generally not bad for a player who has just turned 18.

In the last draft, Gulyaev was selected by former NHL champions Colorado at number 31, and the Russian is already among the team’s most promising prospects. It seems that the Avalanche are not at all confused by the small size (179/78) of Mikhail, who plays intelligently beyond his age and could well become one of the most impressive Russian defenders of the new generation.

Meanwhile, Gulyaev is one of the most interesting young players in the KHL:

Who, besides Michkov? The seven best young stars of the KHL season

Dmitry Simashev

Along with Gulyaev, another Russian defender left in the first round of the last draft. And how he left: Arizona chose Simashev already under the sixth number, surprising many, including Dmitry himself. Such high-ranking Russian defenders have yet to be selected in the 21st century, with even the aforementioned Sergachev and Provorov leaving the talent show at numbers 9 and 7, respectively.

The Coyotes did not hide their joy at the appearance of a Lokomotiv graduate in their system: “We call him the shooting unicorn. It’s hard to find guys who know how to move and walk like that with that physical data. We got to know Dmitry a little better and were amazed at his diligence. He has the material of a leader, he speaks English well, he has very good prospects. It is impossible to find and trade such a defender in the NHL, ”Arizona general manager Bill Armstrong shared his impressions of him immediately after the draft.

Dmitry Simashev and the direction of Arizona

Photo: George Walker IV/AP/TAC

Breaking into the league with one of its more troubled teams shouldn’t be difficult for a player with the hard work Armstrong spoke of. 18-year-old Simashev, who was one of the most useful defenders in the rather old youth team of Loko, has every chance in a couple of years, after the end of the contract with Yaroslavl, to go directly to the base of the Coyotes. .

From Yaroslavl to Arizona, Dmitry can go to more than one:

Hello from Arizona! The most depressing club in the NHL took two Russians out of the draft at once

pavel mintyukov

Moving abroad in 2020, Mintyukov missed the 2020/2021 season due to covid restrictions in the Ontario League, but this didn’t seem to affect his development at all: In his debut year at Saginaw, he scored 62 points in 67 matches with a utility rate of “-14”, and in the last championship, which took place not only in Spirit, but also in Ottawa, Pavel made a total of 88 effective actions in 69 matches; this is by far the best indicator among players of both. teams, while flavored with a more solid “+33”.

The 19-year-old will start next season at the Anaheim farm club, which drafted him 10th in the draft a year earlier, but if he continues like this, a call-up to the starting lineup is unlikely to take long, a competition that in the Sun -Diego, who is far from the most serious of the Ducks themselves, so seeing Mintyukov in a Duck jumper in a few months’ time seems like a very real option.

In Anaheim, a Russian defender recently appeared:

And out again. Russian defenseman Lyubushkin changed the NHL team for the third time in five years

Shakir Mukhamadullin

The protégé of “Salavat Yulaev” is even closer to his NHL debut. Over the winter, Shakir became part of a trade between New Jersey and San Jose, the main target of which was Timo Mayer. In the Sharks’ system, Mukhamadullin is arguably the top defensive prospect and first-time on-base candidate, a contest in which he’s roughly on par with Anaheim’s Californian neighbors.

Shakir Mukhamadullin

Photo: Svetlana Sadykova, photo.khl.ru

The 21-year-old has already managed to make a good impression in his new job: at the end of last season, after leaving Ufa, Shakir played 12 games for the shark farm in the AHL and scored 10 points. An excellent application for entering the base, where Mukhamadullin is already waiting for his compatriot Nikolai Knyzhov.

Alexander Nikishin

Unlike the rest of the representatives on this list, Alexander was not selected in the first round of the draft: in 2020, Carolina chose the player from the then Spartak system only in the third round with number 69. However, to date, Nikishin is the best Russian defender outside of the NHL, who is eagerly awaited in North America.

In the best league in the world, the Russians want to see not only Nikishin:

Why aren’t they in the NHL yet? Five players who should be in the best league in the world

The 21-year-old hockey player’s stock, who was picked at the same fair as Mukhamadullin, soared after a trade with SKA and a strong first year in St. Petersburg, as Alexander became the season’s highest-scoring defender. and settled. as a key player in the army. Now Nikishin will have to confirm his status, and the Hurricanes will have to wait at least another two years: Their most talented prospect won’t leave Russia before 2025.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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