Kris Baker of SabresProspects.com has submitted his annual rankings of the top 30 draft-eligible prospects. Check back each day as we prepare for the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida on June 26-27.
|(Photo Credit: IIHF Images) |#14 - DENIS GURYANOV
Right Wing, Togliatti Jr. (Russia)
6’2”, 189 lbs.
Four years after Russian sniper Nikita Kucherov (TBL) torched the 2011 IIHF Under-18 World Championship with 11 goals in seven games, Guryanov went off with six tallies in the Russians’ four preliminary round contests at the 2015 event before the team was blanked by Switzerland in the quarterfinal round.
Guryanov lit the lamp in four of Russia’s five games, including a natural hat trick plus an assist in a 7-4 win over Sweden.
A swift, powerful skater who is more finisher than creator, Guryanov is somewhat unique in the class due to his seemingly unlimited goal-scoring upside. He’s a lethal left-handed shooter who is most potent when firing from his off-wing. He can score from distance with heavy wrist shot, or jam his way to the paint to get the job done.
There is a lot of learning left to do regarding the defensive game, but his size, strength and offensive talent cannot be ignored as a potential home run prospect.
Guryanov, who scored 15 goals and 25 points in 23 games for Togliatti’s junior club, earned a promotion to the KHL last season, garnering one assist in eight games. He’s expected to remain in Russia for at least one more year before deciding his career next steps.
Even if he stays home for two years, the explosive package should be well worth the wait for the team that locks him in.
For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline, check out Kris Baker’s website, SabresProspects.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@SabresProspects) for in-game updates throughout the week on any Buffalo prospects that are in action.