With the 23rd selection in the 2014 Hockey Wilderness Mock Draft, the Colorado Avalanche select, 18 year old Russian forward, Nikolay Goldobin of Sarnia Sting in the OHL.
Colorado Avalanche Prospect Overview
Hockey's Future has the Avalanche's prospect pool ranked 28th in the NHL citing a lack of depth on the wings as it's major problem. They have some decent defensive and centre prospects coming through but only have 2 RWs in the system and 5 LWs. The whole prospect pool could do with some high-end talent.
Goldobin is a left-shooting RW from Russia. He turns 19 next season and has spent the last two seasons with Sarnia Sting in the OHL scoring 162 points in 135 games. He is currently ranked 24th among North American skaters (dropping quite far from his midterm ranking of 14th) and is widely considered to be the 2nd best Russian available in the draft.
He has decent size (5'11, 178 lbs) and could find his way to the NHL sooner than other 1st round prospects because of his complete game and good attitude. He's a pure shooter with great creative skills in the offensive zone and underrated playmaking ability. He isn't great defensively and can get out-muscled at times. He is probably one of the best goalscorers in this year's draft.
-Per Elite Prospects dot com:
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.
-NHL Central Scouting's Chris Edwards:
Goldobin has a high energy level and is smooth out there. He's got good playmaking ability and he probably would have a lot more points if players were able to finish for him. He's the type of kid who receives a lot of ice time because he plays a complete game.
Where Would He Fit With The Wild?
Goldobin would be a fantastic pick for the Wild. They might find it tough to take him if Ho-Sang is still on the board but could they perhaps trade down and bank on Goldobin falling?
Either way, he has all the skills the Wild need. He shoots, he scores, he creates. This team is full of players who can defend but aren't gifted offensively, Goldobin is just what they need. A bonus is that he could be ready to contribute very soon.
What do you think, Wilderness? Leave your thoughts in the comment section and make sure to check out the other editions in this series and look out for tomorrow's.