Binghamton Devils forward Mikhail Maltsev will be entering his second season once the AHL ramps back up in early December. Maltsev is another talented prospect on the bubble that maybe sooner than later for the Devils entering 2020-’21. However, I see him returning to the AHL for another full season that will be not only beneficial for him, but the Organization.
The 22-year-old native out of St. Petersburg, Russia, will be entering his second full year for the BDevils once the season starts in early December as this is the next feature of the Profile Series with Egor Sharangovich breaking the ice here.
One thing that stands out is Maltsev is one big dude. When you see him up close, in person, he is all that. Listed at 6’ 3”, 221 lbs., he was drafted by New Jersey Devils in 2016 as a 4th Rounder (#102 overall) and is quite the specimen.
In his rookie season for Binghamton, Maltsev recorded 11 goals and 10 assists in 49 contests. Previously he recorded a goal and six helpers in 31 games combined between the two seasons (2017-’19) for the St. Petersburg SKA of the KHL.
Maltsev was centering the second/third lines with Jesper Boqvist and Fabian Zetterlund flanked on the wings during the BDevils’ massive winning streak, which ended at seven games in a row before the season shut down due to COVID-19 in early March.
Known as the tuck and stretch stud during his pre-season run last year for the NJ Devils, he also followed the same pattern with several results while playing for Binghamton that was just as successful in several shoot-out attempts.
That kind of action got some of the media excited in suggesting he should remain in NJ back then but was not enough merit alone for a stay up top as he was sent to Binghamton where he had some success for the BDevils.
Here are a few clips of the move that have drawn some interest during shootouts for Binghamton;
Dec 27th in Syracuse;
Jan 8th in Rochester;
Along with this beauty vs the NYRangers back in a preseason affair while in NJ;
Maltsev will be approaching his second season of a three-year deal signed on May 13, 2019, under a ELC contract as there is no sense of rushing a prospect like a Maltsev type of status as he is in his development years. He needs time, and I feel there is potential. I would give him a look at some point, but fans should be patient.
Under this review from a member of The Panel, Duncan Field had this to say in the 3rd Quarter during his rookie campaign;
Mikhail Maltsev has continued his steady development throughout the third quarter of the season. While earlier in the year he showed flashes of his offensive talent, his play has become more consistent, even as key offensive players have jumped to the NHL squad. He has played throughout the top-9, and is using his speed and physicality with more consistency and effectiveness. His point production still doesn’t quite match his potential, but I have been greatly encouraged by his play during a huge push by the club, and at a time when the roster is continually changed. He has shown all of the tools required to be a future NHL’er, now all I want is for the production to follow. @DuncanMRF
In that evaluation, Duncan mentions the lack of production and, I have to agree. I do not see Maltsev as a point producer, but he has potential based on raw talent alone and the ease with the puck around the cage. He needs to continue to adapt after his first season was unfortunately cut short after 49 contests.
Is he close to securing a spot for the big club? Not yet. As the Devils are currently rich in forwards, but perhaps there will be an opening at some point with his name near the top of the list.
I hope Maltsev will be an impactful clog in the line-up for Binghamton during his second tour in the AHL before he gets a sniff at the next level, as his development will be put to the test during the 2020-’21 season.
Up Next: Another Profile Series features coming up next week, this time focusing on goaltender Gilles Senn.