Philipp Kurashev is a skilled playmaker who isn’t afraid to shoot the puck when the opportunity arises.
Born in Switzerland but of Russian descent, Kurashev just finished up his second full season in the QMJHL and has been a regular for Switzerland at the various international tournaments this season.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the Swiss centre.
- Age/Birthdate: 17.93/ October 12, 1999
- Birthplace: Munsingen, SUI
- Frame:6-foot-0/ 192 lbs
- Position:Left Wing / Centre
- Handedness: Left
- Draft Year Team: Quebec Remparts(QMJHL)
- Elite Novizen Champion (Bern U17)
Kurashevwas selected 21st overall in the 2016 CHL Import Draft before making his way over to play for the Ramparts in the 2016-17 season. He was also taken in the 5th round of the KHL Entry Draft that season by SKA St Petersburg but clearly chose to play in major junior the last two years with his eyes on the NHL entry draft. Since he will be selected out of the CHL, he is bound by the CHL/NHL agreement and thus there are some suggestions that he may return to the NLA for next season but at this moment, nothing is confirmed.
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Without a doubt, Kurashev is a play-maker and is known for his ability to make passes. It’s interesting to see how often he shoots and how well that rates against his peers. His XLS% provides decent value and aligns with many of the prospects in this range and later in the rankings.
Adjusted Scoring (SEAL)
When compared to his peers on the Ramparts, Kurashev was one of the lower producing players at 5v5 and relied heavily on powerplay points to boost his point totals. Throughout the second half of the year and into the playoffs, he hovered around an estimated 5v5 ice time of 12-14 minutes
His production in his D-1 season showed an 18.8% success rate among cohorts and that number has slightly dipped to 16.7% following the 2017-18 season. With 340 total matches, you get a wide array of career arcs but he did produce quite a few of NHL regulars at the same age and the expected production of 43.3 points right in line with middle six production.
The Swiss-born centre is skilled with the puck, who is a good three-zone player. He is quick with the puck – is able to extend his stick to control the puck out of his opponents reach and then pull it out away from coverage and lose his check.
His playmaking abilities really stand out with quick little flips and pass to his teammates to generate offence in the zone and on the rush. He can move the puck around quickly on his stick and then do a quick pass all in one movement. He is able to put the puck where his teammate is going, or should be going – it shows his read of the play and the ability to get it where he wants it to go.
The Munsingen native has a good shot and as pointed out before shoots quite a bit – he does need to get into high danger areas with that shot as almost 90% of his shots were in low danger areas on the ice. Which is shown in the image below from www.prospect-stats.ca:
Kursashev has a quick motor that allows him to have some good acceleration and top speed – when given the space, he is moving his feet to lose his coverage and make plays. He is surprisingly strong on the puck even though he doesn’t appear to be very big. He is effective in the defensive zone as well, using those quick feet and his hockey IQ to be effective with his pressure on the other team.
Kurashev’s 1.02 points-per-game ranked 4th among first-time draft eligible QMJHL players. He did surprisingly well in the draw with a 53% success rate.
As we can see from the rankings below, Kurashev is a player that scouts have gravitated towards. There is little about his skill with the puck, his vision and his ability to get the puck on his teammates stick. It’s good to see that he isn’t afraid to shoot, which can be common with playmakers, and shoots with volume.
There is some concern that he does play a perimeter game in the offensive zone and if that were to continue at the AHL level, he will struggle to put up points. His puck skills are really good and his passing stands out but if he isn’t willing to take the puck into the tough zones to make plays or shoot the puck, he won’t be able to take that next step.
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Kurashev is a good all-around player who wants to get involved in the play any way he can…strong playmaking abilities with excellent creativity and vision…quickly finds open lanes to get through and when he has multiple options, he typically always tries to connect with a teammate rather than fire a shot on net himself…needs to shoot more as he has a dangerous release…his explosive first steps allowed him to reach his top speed quickly…gives his opposition fits as he is dangerous on zone entries with his quickness and creative puck skills…electrifying hands make him dangerous to score anywhere around the opponents net…at times can force pucks and create turnovers by trying to be too careless with his passes…defensively, he can play a crucial role…follows his player tightly, and is engaged into puck battles deep in the zone…also provides an outlet for his defenseman to hit on the breakout…has to improve on his face-offs quite a bit if he wants to become an NHL center, but he does display top-six potential at the NHL level.
Smart slick puck-handling centre with decent speed and East-West lateral agility. High hockey IQ and creative instincts as a passer. sees and anticipates developing plays. Far from ready to be considered NHL worthy, as he has zero interest in getting dirty in physical games, but you cannot argue that he isn’t a fine playmaker despite his lack of any grittiness or edge at this juncture. Needs plenty of work in the face-off circle, because I can see him as winger in his present playing style.