Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman tweeted Monday morning that The St. Louis Blues acquired Zbynek Michalek and a conditional 3rd round pick in 2015 from the Arizona Coyotes for prospect Maxim Letunov.
The Arizona Coyotes add some more depth to their prospect pool in this deal, which comes in handy when you are a rebuilding team. Letunov is a center playing in the USHL with the Youngstown Phantoms. A former 2nd round pick of the 2014 NHL Draft, Letunov is still young at 19 and has some time to develop. Letunov is also leading the USHL is points.
Maxim Letunov is seen playing for Youngstown during the USHL Atlantic Challenge on Sept. 8 in West Orange, N.J. He has nine points in six games for the Phantoms in the young regular season. Photo by Joshua Boyd – See more at http://www.usajuniorhockey.com/2013/10/united-states-hockey-league-youngstown-looks-to-get-on-the-right-track/#sthash.jGDxB6Go.dpuf
Letunov is a Moskva, Russia native. A left-handed center who has a promising offensive upside. He hasn’t worked on his defensive game too much and needs to improve upon that to be successful at the professional level. His hands are very good when passing and shooting. He makes hard shots and hard passes to make plays.
Letunov has a rather larger frame, 6’3″ 168lbs, but often finds himself on the ice rather than pushing defenders off of him. He will be attending Boston University next year, so his physicality will need to be improved upon playing at the college level.
Maxim Letunov could be a superb bottom six scorer on an NHL team if he can work on his forecheck and other parts of his physical game. His time at Boston University will help with that, but I feel Letunov will need some time in the AHL. It shouldn’t be long, maybe half of a season. Preseason and the AHL will tell if Letunov is really ready for the NHL game.
Courtesy: Youngstown Phantoms