Film Room: Why Dmitri Simashev could be the best defenceman in the 2023 NHL Draft
Dmitri Simashev entered the 2022-23 season as a relative unknown, but a strong preseason vaulted him to Lokomotiv Yaroslavl's opening night roster and suddenly placed him on everyone's radar for this year's draft.
Points were hard to come by, which isn't much of a surprise given his limited role and ice time in the KHL. Just being there is enough, especially at this stage in a player's development – it counts for a lot.
That Simashev struggled to score upon returning to the MHL was a bit more concerning, his single point in 15 junior contests not exactly aligning with his sudden emergence as a top prospect. He finished the season strong, picking up 11 points in the next 18 contests and finishing at a 0.34 point per game pace, good for 80th all-time among draft-eligible MHL defencemen, but this still leaves a lot to be desired for a potential top-15 pick.
So, why did we keep him so high on our board? Because we couldn't find any critical flaws to explain the lack of production in his tape. Sure, the output wasn't strong, but the inputs were all there. And we're going to take you through them one by one to help explain why Simashev could be the best defenceman to emerge from this draft.
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