We’re back with another addition for our top 30 NHL draft prospects and today we’re taking a look at Sarnia Sting forward, Nikolay Goldobin.
The highly skilled Russian forward is expected to be taken late in the first round when teams take their first selection in June. Despite being projected as a late first round pick, Goldobin has all the skills necessary to play in the NHL. He came over from Russia last season to join the Sting who drafted him and performed at a point-per-game pace in his first year. During his second season with the Sting he recorded 38 goals and 56 assists in 67 games.
Goldobin was one of the bright spots on a struggling Sarnia Sting hockey team this season and has play has certainly caught the attention of NHL scouts. His skills are quite exceptional and hard to find in such a young prospect, however his build for skill instead of physicality has held him back in North America.
What Will A Team Get If They Draft Him?
Any team that takes Nikolay Goldobin in the first our second round will be getting a highly skilled left winger, who has the potential to be a top 6 forward. He’s still three-four years away from being a key player on any NHL team and needs a little more time to hone his craft, however his skills are enough to get any GM or coach interested.
He’s often like a magician out on the ice with the puck, he’s a great skater has elite stick handing , is a creative passer, has an elite wrist shot and is a outstanding power play guy with absolute top level hockey sense for offence. Basically he’s a teams dream on offence. Unfortunately his inconsistency has plagued him throughout his career and he’ll need to learn to play without the puck for a successful NHL career.
His Underrated skill
What often times get’s overlooked with Nikolay Goldobin is his skating. He’s an exceptional skater, with dazzling speed. His top end speed and his acceleration are both well above average. He also has outstanding agility and edge-work which makes him extremely elusive both off the rush and in the cycle game. He’s extremely quick with both his hands and feet which he uses to create time for him and his linemates.
His offencive skill is what gets your attention, however his ability to create offence with his feet and turn the play up us quick is what will make you stick around with Goldobin. He’ll get fans excited with both his ability to deke the pants off opponents and his ability to blow past opponents.
What Needs To Be Worked On?
There are two things in which Nikolay Goldobin could use a little extra work on before his NHL days. The first, as you’ve probably guess is defence. Most young players who focus on offence first and aren’t complete two-way players, struggle with the defence part of the game and Goldobin is no exception. He has a hard time playing when the puck isn’t on his stick or going towards the opposition and puts little effort into his defence.
Since defence is pretty common with most late first round draft picks, we’re also going to pick on Goldobin in another area. I don’t want to get into a debate about the “Russian” stereotypes for hockey players, however Goldobin is built for offence and not a physical game. He gets knocked off the puck far too easily and often avoids the rough stuff in the corners.
Sticking with the Russian player theme, the best comparison for Nikolay Goldobin is Alexander Semin. He’s going to bring you stellar offence, however when the puck isn’t bouncing his way, don’t expect much.