We remain in the QMJHL for the 69th ranked prospect in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.
Russian winger Yegor Sokolov is a big bodied winger who uses his size effectively to generate offence and control play along the boards.
At this point, he does look to be a long-term project for any team but has an intriguing game that teams hope can round out as he progresses up the ranks.
Let’s take a look at the winger.
- Age/Birthdate: 17.27/ June 7, 2000
- Birthplace: Yekaterinburg, RUS
- Frame:6-foot-4/ 223 lbs
- Position: Right Wing
- Handedness: Right
- Draft Year Team: Cape Breton Screaming Eagles(QMJHL)
- YOG Bronze Medal
- U17 WHC Bronze Medal
Sokolov was selected with the 35th overall selection in the 2017 CHL Import Draft and made the leap to the QMJHL for his draft season. He represented Russia at the Ivan Hlinka to start the year that saw him post one goal and three assists in five games.
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Sokolov appears to have started the season off really well and then hit a wall offensively as his role diminished. His GF% and GF%REL are of concern but the 16.0% success rate with pGPS is at least encouraging.
Adjusted Scoring (SEAL)
Needless to say that there are some concerns with the graphs above. Sokolov saw his 5v5 ice time drop throughout the season and with that so did his contributions. Add the fact that he was the lowest producing forward with his linemates and generally brought them down in terms of goals for percentages.
A respectable 15.6% of cohorts went onto NHL careers with an expected production of 38.2 points per 60 games played. Eric Daze is a close comparable in terms of age to start the draft year and production.
No matter how you look at it, Sokolov is a risk based on the hope that he will round out his game and be that power forward that every team desires. It’s okay to draft for that need at this point in the draft, instead of the early first round, but with the understanding that you are passing on the high skill potential of other players.
The Yekaterinburg native is skilled with the puck and has a balanced offensive game with a willingness to make the pass or shoot. As expected with his size, he is strong along the boards and at protecting the puck.
His skating is of concern, I find him to be heavy on his feet. He has an okay top speed when he is given time and space but he needs to a clear straight line to make that happen while needing huge areas to pivot, stop/start, and change direction. There are some technique issues with it, so with some more skill coaching, it could very improve. With the NHL getting faster by the day, the counterpoint is that even if he improves it, will it be enough?
Personally, I would be leery about it and lean towards the thought that he may just never be fast enough to keep up.
As mentioned above, there are some red flags about his production and his contributions at 5v5 play. The skating is an issue for me.
With that in mind, the pGPS success rate at least suggests that his underwhelming production isn’t terrible.
Any team that does select the 6’4″ winger will know that he will take a long time to develop and may only project to being a fourth line player who is skilled with the puck. It’s easy to get enchanted by the idea that a player could be his ceiling. It does happen, players do reach that ceiling, but there is always a risk with that.
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From NHL Central Scouting Service:
Good size/strength winger – very good puck skills and ability to always be open for scoring chances – good vision and playmaking abilities; decent finishing touch – strong on the puck and very good puck protection game – effective puck control game down low and along the wall – patient to make good decisions with the puck.