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 / NewJerseyDevils.com

AGE: 18

COUNTRY: Russia

HEIGHT: 5-10

WEIGHT: 172

POSITION: Wing

SHOOTS: Left

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

WHAT'S THE BUZZ

"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

CUT TO THE CHASE

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. 

DID YOU KNOW?

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

Photo: Russian Ice Hockey Federation

View More