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NHL Draft

Two 2019 NHL Draft prospects upgraded to A rating

Kolyachonok, Soderstrom rated higher on November players to watch list

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

Vladislav Kolyachonok of Flint in the Ontario Hockey League and Victor Soderstrom of Brynas in the Swedish Hockey League were each upgraded to an A rating on NHL Central Scouting's Players to Watch list for November.

The revised players to watch list is an update to the preliminary players to watch that was released Oct. 2. Players with an A rating are considered potential first-round candidates for the 2019 NHL Draft at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on June 21-22.

Kolyachonok and Soderstrom are defensemen who were B rated skaters, or potential second-round candidates, in the October release.


[VIEW: NHL Central Scouting Players to Watch list]


Kolyachonok (6-foot-1, 180 pounds), a left-hand shot from Belarus, is a smooth skater with a relentless motor. He has eight assists in eight games for Flint, who claimed him off OHL waivers from London on Oct. 2.

"He missed some time while obtaining a U.S. Visa but no adjustment was needed to North American-sized ice or style of play," said Dan Marr, director of NHL Central Scouting. "He has high IQ with or without the puck and is ultra-deceptive with moves and body fakes."

Soderstrom (5-11, 170), a right-hand shot, offers good vision and understanding of the game. He was promoted from the junior team in SuperElit to Brynas on Nov. 9 and has one assist and a plus-2 rating in eight games. 

"Victor is a very smart two-way defenseman with an excellent understanding of the game," said Goran Stubb, NHL Director of European Scouting. "He has good instincts, is a mobile skater with speed and balance and his overall skills are very good. He is a hard-working, good competitor; not overly physical but not afraid of the rough stuff."

There were 19 players upgraded from a C to B rating in the November players to watch. Here's a scouting report on seven of those skaters:

Nikita Alexandrov, C, Charlottetown (QMJHL): Alexandrov (6-0, 179), from Burgwedel, Germany, has 17 points (11 goals, six assists) in 21 games in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

NHL Central Scouting: "He's starting to consistently impact games offensively. He's composed, skilled with the puck and has good finishing ability in close. He's got good vision finding the open ice and can make plays in tight spaces."

Danil Antropov, LW, Oshawa (OHL): The son of former NHL player Nik Antropov has 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in 19 games. Danil Antropov (6-1, 185) was chosen by Oshawa with the No. 6 pick in the 2016 OHL draft.

NHL Central Scouting: "Encouraging hockey IQ with and without the puck. He's not a speedster but knows how to put himself into supportive positions to consistently possess the puck. He's strong on his skates and protects the puck well using his body."

Bobby Brink, RW, Sioux City (USHL): The 5-8, 159-pound right wing, who is committed to the University of Denver in 2020-21, is tied with teammate Martin Pospisil (Calgary Flames) for the United States Hockey League scoring lead with 26 points (11 goals, 15 assists) in 15 games. He leads Sioux City with four power-play goals.

NHL Central Scouting: "Brink has got good hands, a quick release and can snap the puck. He's a point producer who finds ways to contribute."

Dillon Hamaliuk, F, Seattle (WHL): The 6-3, 190-pound left wing leads the Thunderbirds with 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists) in 16 games. He's considered a power forward with good compete and physicality.

NHL Central Scouting: "He's a big guy who plays a robust game. He was sort of a third-line type player last season but now playing a bigger role."

Lev Starikov, D, Windsor (OHL): The native of Kazan, Russia, has two points (one goal, one assist) and 22 shots on goal in 17 games but has attracted attention with his consistently solid efforts. Starikov (6-7, 200) can transition well and make smart decisions along the blue line. 

NHL Central Scouting: "He's shown development and is starting to find his identity. He displays manipulative maneuverability and hesitations in his feet and body to shake checking pressure. He moves well for his size."

Lassi Thomson, D, Kelowna (WHL): The 6-foot, 188-pound right-hand shot has 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) and 56 shots on goal in 20 games as a WHL rookie this season. 

NHL Central Scouting: "He's proving to be a dynamic, productive player, and his skating ability, combined with his skill and creativity, make him an appealing NHL prospect. He possesses an NHL shot and doesn't hesitate to use it."

Cade Webber, D, Rivers Academy (HIGH-MA): Webber (6-5, 194), who is committed to Boston University in 2020-21, has played seven games for USA Hockey's National Team Development Program under-18 team this season.

NHL Central Scouting: "He's a big left-shot defenseman who moves well and is difficult to beat on the rush because of his mobility and reach. He has ability to join the rush on the offensive attack and create scoring chances."

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