NHL Prospect Report

Russia Stock Watch: Dmitri Buchelnikov thriving on loan with Admiral Vladivostok

The regular season has come and gone in the Russian hockey world as the playoffs are now in progress for the three main hockey leagues. The stakes don't get any higher. At least not to this point in these players' careers. It's a good measuring stick for where a player's development stans.

Amid this backdrop, the trend of young players leaving SKA St. Petersburg for better opportunities and seizing them continues apace. The March Russia Stock Watch leads off with one such player. Let's get to it.

Stock Rising 📈

Dmitri Buchelnikov, LW, Admiral Vladivostok (Detroit Red Wings)

The Red Wings decision to draft the overage Dmitri Buchelnikov with the 52nd overall pick in the 2022 draft came as a bit of a surprise. The little winger has proven himself a legitimate prospect in the time since though.

He just wrapped up his first full KHL season with seven points in 11 games through the month of February, despite his team winning just four of those contests. The loan from SKA to Admiral opened up a whole new world of opportunities for Buchelnikov, who looked like he was going to remain in the VHL with SKA-Neva for another season before being saved by a trip to Vladivostok.

He finished the season with 29 points in 55 games, the third-highest point tally on his team and the fifth-highest for U21 players in the KHL this season.

Ilya Nabokov, G, Metallurg Magnitogorsk (2024 NHL Draft)

Ilya Nabokov had only set foot on KHL ice just one time prior to this season, playing four and a half minutes against Kunlun Red Star last year and facing zero shots on goal. However, he was consistently a top goaltender in the MHL with Stalnye Lisy.

With Metallurg down their starter Eddie Pasquale, they opted to let 20-year-old Nabokov take the reins, and take them he did.

His February was par for the course for his performances over the season with a .946 save percentage in his eight starts. He finished the year tied for fifth in the KHL in save percentage with a .930 as one of the two U21 goalies who saw regular gametime at the level. He trails only behind Ilya Sorokin and Ilya Samsonov for U21 goaltenders statistically.

Nabokov turns 21 before the draft, making this his last year of eligibility. Despite being “short” by NHL standards at 6-feet-even, his domination throughout junior becoming domination at the highest level in Russia makes a strong case for his name to be called on draft day.

Sergei Ivanov, G, Admiral Vladivostok (Columbus Blue Jackets)

How about we go full circle and mention the only other U21 goalie in the KHL and the other player sent to Admiral on loan alongside Buchelnikov and talk about the season Sergei Ivanov had?

Unlike Nabokov, Sergei Ivanov came into this season with a handful of professional games under his belt, but with no room in the SKA St. Petersburg crease, he was sent East to get some KHL reps.

He also finished the season with a .930 save percentage, though, on a team that only managed to win 21 games this season. Ivanov stepped into the starting role to try to replace Nikita Serebryakov, who was sent to SKA in return for the two aforementioned loanees.

The shoes were tough to fill, but the 19-year-old stepped up and proved that he could handle the big leagues, winning the majority of the starts over Vasili Demchenko.

Stock Steady ↔️

Ilya Ivantsov, C, Severstal Cherepovets (2024 NHL Draft)

Ilya Ivantsov has taken off in his second full KHL season, going from 15 points in 63 games last year to 35 in 68 in his sophomore year.

He was loaned from SKA to Severstal last season before making the full-time switch this past offseason and he’s found early success in the professional circuit. He’s a pure playmaker with great vision and hockey sense, but there’s been a lack of improvement through his skating and shot that may leave NHL teams wanting more.

Ivantsov’s February was a bit underwhelming, with just five points in twelve games, but he will be a player to keep an eye on in Severstal’s first playoff round against Spartak.

Stock Falling 📉

Nikita Ishimnikov, D, Gornyak-UGMK (Colorado Avalanche)

Nikita Ishimnikov was an out there pick from Colorado given the talent, specifically from Russia, on the board when he was selected last year and it doesn’t seem to be one to remember.

He finished his regular season with just three points in 48 games, with 39 of those coming at the VHL level. It may just be growing pains, but there seemed to be mostly signs of regression in his game as he struggled to make an impact playing against men.

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This article is about:
NHL Prospect Report Admiral Vladivostok Avto Yekaterinburg Colorado Avalanche Columbus Blue Jackets Detroit Red Wings Metallurg Magnitogorsk Severstal Cherepovets KHL MHL VHL Dmitri Buchelnikov Nikita Ishimnikov Sergei Ivanov Ilya Ivantsov Ilya Nabokov
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