We’re back with another edition of our top 30 draft prospect profiles and today we’re taking a trip down to Moncton to visit another Russian Ivan Barbashev.
How good is Ivan Barbashev? Well he played for Russia at the U20 World Juniors as the only draft eligible player on the roster. Even as the youngest player on the squad, Barbashev still looked solid and recorded 2 points. With the Moncton Wildcats he recorded 68 points in 48 games and represented Russia during the Subway Series against the other CHL all stars. He’s got an exceptional level of compete and desire to win which fuels his motor and his physical game.
He’s got the skill on offence, the physicality, the compete level and breaks the mould of most traditional Russians. At 6 foot 3, he’s got the size to be a top 6 forward and if he can fill out his frame he could become a bit of a power forward. To his credit he turned down decent size money from the KHL to come over to North America and play in the CHL to help his NHL draft cause.
What Will A Team Get If They Draft Him?
When you’re thinking of a Russian player, you’re thinking of a guy with elite skill, but doesn’t compete or battle hard and rarely plays the physical side. However with Ivan Barbashev, you’re not going to get that. You’re going to get a guy who loves to play the physical side of the game as well as score goals and rack up points.
He’s got great playmaking ability, vision, speed, and passing ability to set teammates up, but he also has nice finishing ability and is not afraid to drive to the net. His compete level and grit is unique and will help his NHL dreams and the fact he also play centre doesn’t hurt either.
You want a guy who has elite offence and isn’t afraid to mix it up in the corners and battle hard every night? Then Ivan Barbashev is your guy at the 2014 draft.
His Underrated skill
For Barbashev he unfortunately gets clouded by the fact he’s Russian and often times his strong two-way game gets overlooked. Not only does have all the skills to be a great offencive player, he knows that he needs to be responsible on defence and play in both ends. He’s not afraid to through his body around to generate turnovers and has a solid game in his own zone.
Whether you draft him to be a top 6 elite scorer or draft him to be more of a power forward/two-way centre you can’t go wrong. Either way he’s going to do what you need him to do in order to help the team win. A true character player.
What Needs To Be Worked On?
As to be expected, when you start playing centre mid way through the season your face-off’s aren’t going to be your strongest suit. Ivan Barbashev can play either wing or centre, however, if he wishes to play centre in the NHL his face-off skills could use some work. He finished at 46% at the dot in the QMJHL last season and will need to put some more work into the face-offs to help broaden his threat level and chance for success in the NHL.
Ivan Barbashev could see his name called anywhere from 13th-21st. There is a lot of deep talent in the first round this year and this guy is a gem with a ton of potential. All around he could use a little more polishing but so could 30 other players in this years first round. He’s got the raw skill, the hockey IQ and the will to win to turn himself into a solid NHL player with a long and successful career.