Skip to Main Content
The Official Site of the New Jersey Devils

Nikita Chibrikov Profile I DRAFT

Russian prospect Nikita Chibrikov is arguably the best and most dynamic skater in the 2021 draft class

by Sam Kasan @SamiKasan /

AGE: 18


HEIGHT: 5-10




DRAFT YEAR PRODUCTION: SKA St. Petersburg (KHL), 16GP, 1G, 1A, 2PTS; Russia (WJ-18), 7GP, 4G, 9A, 13PTS, +7

RANKING: 4th Ranked International Skater - Central Scouting


"Chibrikov is an elite skater. His quickness, edge work, and lightning speed are everything a team can ask for in a scoring forward … His skating stride is nearly flawless, and his wide base combined with his strong edges make him a nightmare to take the puck off of." - Alex Taxman, Future Scope Hockey


There is no denying Chibrikov's potential as a top-6 forward in the NHL. Scouts rave about his skating - usually an area of weakness for draft-eligible prospects - vision, net-front drive, shot and grit. 

Chibrikov's skating pops immediately. His edge work and crossovers are excellent for an 18-year-old. But perhaps his biggest skating strength is in his acceleration, his ability to generate speed quickly from a dead stop. This asset makes him deadly in the transition game. 

Chibrikov sees the game well in the offensive zone and has a quick, if not overpowering, release. He also has a lot of edginess to his game. Chibrikov loves driving to the net and setting up shot at the crease. He also will battle along the walls and has a tendency to get under the opposition's skin, a la a Brad Marchand or Brady Tkachuk.

Scouts appear very mixed on Chibrikov's defensive zone coverage. Some sight his tenaciousness in the backcheck and in the D zone. While others note that he's an excellent defensive - when he wants to be. His lack of consistency and effort has given some scouts pause. Another area of cleanup necessary in his game is Chibrikov's decision-making, forcing plays and passes either in the neutral zone or offensive zone. Though that can be corrected in time. 


Chibrikov and Russia won gold at the World Under-17 Junior Champoinship in 2019-20. 

Photo: Russian Ice Hockey Federation

View More