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Canucks Prospect Rewind: Kirill Kudryavtsev is the next 7th round pick to get excited about

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Photo credit:@ohlhoundpower on IG
Faber
By Faber
11 months ago
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The Vancouver Canucks only have one defence prospect playing in the Canadian Hockey League and he took off in his draft-plus-one season.
Kirill Kudryavtsev was selected in the seventh round of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft and then went off to the OHL and had a great season with the Soo Greyhounds.
There’s a lot to like about Kudryavtsev but the best part of his game is his puck-moving from a combination of being a good passer and a great skater. Kudryavtsev is a 19-year-old, 6’0″ left-shot defenceman. He put up eight goals and added a whopping 42 assists in 67 OHL games.
We enjoyed watching Kudryavtsev carry the puck up ice in the OHL. He was able to use speed and good puck-handling skills to fly by the opposition and was the power play quarterback on the first power play unit. Kudyavtsev set a strong base level for production in his draft-plus-one season. Kudryavtsev was tied for fifth in U19 defenceman scoring in the OHL and now sets himself up to be one of the most offensively prolific defencemen in the OHL for the 2023-24 season.
Kudryavtsev played well enough to earn an entry-level contract with the Canucks. With that ELC, the expectation is that Kudryavtsev will go pro after the 2023-24 season and should get immediate time with the Abbotsford Canucks.
The Canucks don’t have many defence prospects in their pipeline and Kudryavtsev’s style of play is an exciting one to watch at the OHL level if he continues to improve and develop, he should be ready for the AHL at the conclusion of his OHL season and from there, it will be all about how well he can translate his junior skills to professional hockey.
There are not necessarily any worries about his defensive game but it’s just not his biggest strength. This coming season in the OHL provides a great proving ground for Kudryavtsev and he will have a chance to push to be one of the top defencemen in the OHL.
His Greyhounds team was pretty weak this past year, so we do wonder if Kudryavtsev gets moved in the offseason or closer to the CHL trade deadline. Right now, Kudryavtsev is on track to be a number one defenceman who is the power play quarterback and also kills penalties.

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This next clip shows the part of his game that we are excited about. There’s a tremendous boost in his first three strides and he scores the overtime-winning goal in this clip.
We’ve got high hopes for this kid after watching him in 2022-23. He’s got a lot of translateable skills to pro hockey and the question will be if Kudryavtsev can raise his overall level to an acceptable level for pro hockey. He’s on track but needs to continue to grow and develop.
No matter the case, it’s good to have a CHL defenceman in the prospect pipeline. Perhaps the Canucks will draft more in this month’s entry draft.
Predictions for 2023-24 season
69 games played, 17 goals, 54 assists in OHL.
Maybe some games in the AHL as well… 

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