The Sharks traded down to 27 to draft Nikolay Goldobin, picking up an early 3rd in the process. I am really happy with this pick. Doug Wilson went out of the box a bit and picked a risk/reward Russian. Goldobin is an electric offensive player who has tremendous upside. He has good hands, vision, release, and poise. He is a goal-scorer and a playmaker who is fun to watch, something the Sharks need in their prospect pool. The risk factor is that he struggles defensively and will need to bulk up. He is said to be more NHL-ready than picks around him. We could see Nickolay in teal in 1-2 years depending on development but he immediately becomes one of the Sharks top prospects.
Goldobin is a dangerous shooter with a wicked release on his wrist shot. He is quick and creative and can make defenders look foolish. He's weak against bigger opponents and can look lost in his own zone but is extremely dangerous and can quietly slide into prime scoring areas.
ï»¿The Scouting Report
The Sarnia Sting have had no shortage of luck in the CHL Import Draft in recent years, but Nikolay Goldobin may have been their greatest coup when you consider that the Sting were able to nab the dynamic Russian forward with the 36th pick in 2012. What Goldobin lacks in strength - and there is definitely a pressing need for improvement there - he more than makes up for with scintillating talent and goal scoring ability. The 18-year-old tallied 30 goals and 68 points as an OHL rookie a year ago and will be relied on heavily to produce on a youthful Sarnia team which lacks depth and experience.
Draft Site (Bill Placzek)
Import player who seems to have all the offensive skills to be a very successful NHL down the road. Undeniable weapon who can dangle, set up and score, putting defenders on their heals. Sneaks into the soft areas and lets go with a lethal shot. Lost in his own zone, and needs plenty more strength and commitment to be a better back-end player. The fact that Ilya Kovalchuk walked away from his NHL career to easily find a new buyer in the KHL further complicates the NHL decision in regards to drafting skilled Russian-born prospects, including those who have shown the willingness to come over in the season prior to their draft year.
Last Word on Sports
Nikolay Goldobin has outstanding offensive skill. There is no doubt about that, the guy knows how to put up points, and has all the tools to do so. He is blessed with the ability to stickhandle in a phone booth. His wide array of moves can leave defenders spinning. He also has a killer wrist shot, and an outstanding release. Goldobin also has a very effective one-timer. Add to all of this great hockey sense and the ability to find holes in the defense. Top it all of with some incredible vision and passing skils, and there is no doubt about Goldobinâs abilities in the offensive end of the ice. When he is on his game, he is quite simply a dynamic offensive catalyst for Sarnia. Goldobin can play a high speed game off the rush, or he can show poise with the puck and be patient and wait for an opening in the offensive zone. He doesnât seem to get flustered often with the puck on his stick, and if he has the time and space out there, chances are that he will take advantage of it.
Goldobin is a very good skater. His top end speed and his acceleration are both well above average. He also has outstanding agility and edgework which makes him extremely elusive both off the rush and in the cycle game. His balance could be improved, as he will need to add strength. He can sometimes be knocked off the puck by bigger and stronger defenders, and this also hurts him in his ability to win board battles.
Goldobin will also need to improve his defensive game. He sometimes can get puck watching out there, and he likes to cheat to create offensive chances. He needs a lot of coaching in this aspect, and it is something that is very much a work in progress at this point in his career. He also needs to bring the same intensity at the defensive end of the ice that he brings at the offensive end.
In terms of style, Goldobin reminds me of a cross between Alex Semin and Mike Ribeiro, however these are stylistic comparisons only. In terms of potential, Goldobin is a real boom or bust prospect. His defensive game, size and inconsistent effort level could lead some to believe he will never become an effective NHLer, however his talent level is amongst the best in this draft, and if he reaches his potential he can be a true top line offensive catalyst.