Today we continue to familiarize you, our readers, with some prospects that you may not have heard of heading into June’s NHL Draft. While most people are aware of the Nico V Nolan debate for our New Jersey Devils, we have more than just a first round pick to add to our prospect pool. Today we look at Kirill Maksimov, a player who is projected to go in one of the draft’s later rounds.
Who is Kirill Maksimov?
Maksimov (or Maximov depending on which website you’re accessing) was born on June 1st, 1999 in Moscow, Russia. He currently stands 6’2” and weighs in at 190 pounds, continuing my trend of previewing players who are already at or almost at an NHL-sized frame.
His playing career starting in the Toronto Jr. AAA system; he was a 2nd round OHL draft pick of the Saginaw Spirit, and he posted 6 goals and 15 assists in 54 games during his rookie season with them. This past year he tallied 6 goals and 10 assists in 37 games before being traded (along with a pair of draft picks) to the Niagara IceDogs in exchange for Hayden Davis. Maksimov would add 15 more goals and 7 more assists (for totals of 21 and 17 on the season) in 29 games (66 total this past year) for Niagara. He also appeared in 4 playoff games, posting 4 goals in that short span. For his full stats to date, please follow this link to his profile over at Elite Prospects.
Where is Maksimov Ranked?
According to the available rankings, here is where Kirill is currently projected against his fellow prospects:
Many of the other websites that we have used during our prospect profiles here at AAtJdo not have him ranked. As there are only 217 picks in the entire draft, I’m inclined to believe that Kirill will be a late round pick (late 6 possible, 7 more probable) with a small possibility that he goes undrafted.
What Others Say About Kirill Maksimov
As the case can be for late round projections, there is very little chatter surrounding Maksimov. Despite a good amount of digging on the interwebs, the most I could find about Kirill was transaction information and basic statistics like the ones from EP.
A Little Video
Thanksfully, we do have some video of Maksimov’s play from this past season which can give us a better indication of him as a player:
I’m digging the little touch pass at the start of the video leading to Matthew Kreis’ goal; it shows good awareness of where his teammate was, as well as the smarts to make a quick play and get the puck to a somewhat-open teammate. The goal itself is simply a nice tip-in of a shot from the point.
These two goals (now from his time in Niagara) show off a bit more of Kirill’s offensive capabilities; the first one is a pure snipe from short range showing that Maksimov has a fairly nice wrister. Goal scoring seems to be more of a strength for him than assists, so it will be interesting in his Draft +1 season to see how his offense progresses.
I Like the second goal even more than the first because it showed me he has a willingness to battle himself into position and crash the net to be rewarded. New Jersey needs players in the system that aren’t afraid to battle and drive to the front.
Last clip above is again from his time in Niagara, and again I like what I see in terms of goal scoring ability. In terms of producing offense, Kirill could be an asset to New Jersey’s system; I do have my concerns, however...
An Opinion of Sorts
Kirill Maksimov could be an interesting late round pick for the New Jersey Devils; he obviously has some level of offensive capabilty (you don’t score 20+ goals if you don’t have some semblance of skill) and has a couple of hat tricks under his belt from this past season. His speed also seems to be pretty good from the limited viewing above, and his compete level seems to be where it needs to be.
On the opposite side of the coin, looking at his game by game stats courtesy of Saginaw’s website, I’m concerned by the number of games where he has no points. I can’t be sure if it’s bad luck or that he goes ghost much like Adam Henrique and Michael Cammalleri do at times; while being a player in either of those veins isn’t the worst thing in the world, the last thing the New Jersey Devils need right now is more passengers.
My other concern is that I could not find any clips or reports on his defensive ability; this is an area where I would just want the Devils staff to be sure they do their homework on Kirill. As long as he’s making an effort on the defensive side of the puck, anything he needs help with can be taught.
Overall, Maksimov is to me the type of player you take a flier on in late rounds; he has some skill and could wind up blooming a bit later than some players into a useful piece for an organization. If the Devils still have their 7th round pick this year (the condition to send this year’s or next to the Second Rate Rivals is still unknown I believe) and Maksimov is still on the board, I say take him. Right shooting, right wingers are still a position of need; if it works out, great; if not, no big deal as many late round picks don’t.
Kirill Maksimov definitely feels a position of need for New Jersey’s prospect pool, but he still has a number of unknowns surrounding him; what are your thoughts on him? Would you like to see the Devils select him in the Entry Draft? Are there any concerns that you have about his game? Do you think he’s a fit for the Devils system? Leave any and all thoughts below and thank you as always for reading!