Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2021 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “2021 NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we bring you our Prokhor Poltapov Scouting Report.?
Breaking into one of the top KHL teams, such as CSKA Moscow, is difficult for a draft-eligible player. As a result, 17-year-old forward Prokhor Poltapov played just one KHL game this season. He got plenty of ice time in the Russian Junior League, the MHL. Poltapov scored 25 goals and 27 assists for 52 points in 61 games with Krasnaya Armiya Moskva. He also added two goals and an assist in six playoff games. Poltapov joined the Russian team at the IIHF Under-20 World Championships. He put up two goals and five assists for seven points in seven tournament games. Poltapov helped the Russian team to a silver medal.
In 2019-20 Poltapov scored eight goals and 12 points in 23 MHL games. He also put up three goals and seven points in three games in the Under-18 Russian league. Poltapov added five goals and nine points in 11 games in the Under-17 league. At the international level, Poltapov was part of the Russian team at the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge. He scored three goals and four assists for seven points in six tournament games. Poltapov helped the Russian team win the tournament and bring home the gold medal.
Right Wing/Left Wing — shoots Left
Born February 1st, 2003 — St. Petersburg, Russia
Height 6’0″ — Weight 176 lbs [183 cm / 80 kg]
Poltapov is a very explosive skater. He has an outstanding first step and excellent acceleration. Poltapov can be cruising around the zone and suddenly explode past a defender into open space and attack the front of the net. His top-end speed is very good as well. He can take a defender wide and cut to the front of the net. Poltapov has a long, powerful stride. He also has very good core strength and is strong on the puck. Poltapov fights through checks, hooks, and holds while moving forward. This also helps him to win battles along the boards and in front of the net. Poltapov can use some work on his edgework and agility though. His turns are a bit wide. He also needs to use his cross-overs better to maintain speed as he comes out of turns.
Poltapov is a very good stickhandler and combines this with his powerful skating to protect the puck and create offensive possession. He has a long reach for his size and combines this with his strength to move the puck in the cycle game and give his linemates the time to get open in front of the net. Poltapov has good vision and can use quick toe-drags and changing his angle on his stick to open up passing lanes. He is a very good passer and creates scoring chances for teammates. Poltapov can also skate the puck through the neutral zone, gaining the zone and setting up possession. He could take better angles to the puck on the forecheck. This can delay his arrival and leads to less pressure on defenders than he really should generate.
Poltapov is also a good goal scorer. His quick hands help him to score goals in tight to the net. He elevates the puck quickly and can put it in tight spaces from in close. His strong lower body allows him to establish position and get rebounds and deflections. Poltapov also has a very good wrist shot and snapshot. Both are very accurate and he has decent power. This should get even better as he continues to add muscle to his frame. His quick hands and puck control allow him to change the angle of his release point. This can fool goaltenders and makes him very dangerous inside the faceoff dots. His one-timer is also very good.
Poltapov’s defensive game is again a bit of a work in progress. He does not always take the best angles to the puck and can be a bit late in engaging a puck carrier as a result. This can hurt him in battles along the boards and in trying to contain his man against the cycle. He will need to be coached on his positioning and this will be even more evident when he moves to the smaller North American ice surface. Poltapov tries to be engaged and is willing to use his physicality in both ends of the rink but there are refinements needed in his game. When a turnover is created, he is good at getting the puck out of the zone and moving it up the ice for transition chances.
Poltapov is a talented offensive player who could develop into a power-forward at the next level. However, there are some question marks in his game. While his skating is very good, he needs to work on his awareness and reading the play to get where the puck is going when he does not have it. Doing this would allow him to use his strength and power in better ways. Getting him to North America and working on smaller ice will be an important part of any team’s development of his game going forward. He will also need to continue to get stronger to play his style of game when facing men. Prokhorov’s game is reminiscent of Andrew Copp but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Prokhor Poltapov that are available on youtube and Twitter.
What a freaking toe-drag from Prokhor Poltapov #2021NHLDraft | #U18Worlds pic.twitter.com/RU4s0y7sQg
— Dylan Griffing (@GriffingDylan) April 29, 2021
Prokhor Poltapov (2021) goes for a skate around the zone and takes the puck to the net where his teammate bangs in the easy rebound
Defence is frowned upon in the MHL.pic.twitter.com/erOm3PSV6E
— Nick Richard (@_NickRichard) November 2, 2020
Okay, Prokhor Poltapov. Alright. #2021NHLDraft pic.twitter.com/6d5XcNXLyw
— J.D. Burke (@JDylanBurke) April 16, 2021
Nice display of puck pursuit, retrieval, and hands in tight from Prokhor Poltapov pic.twitter.com/ycBgDWDqnJ
— Prashanth Iyer (@iyer_prashanth) April 27, 2021
#2021NHLDraft prospect F Prokhor Poltapov scored another goal in the MHL yesterday pic.twitter.com/Br9KEL1t3K
— 2021 NHL Draft Tracker (@NHLDraftWatch) November 7, 2020
#2021NHLDraft prospect F Prokhor Poltapov scored 1G and 1A against HC Tayfun (MHL).
Here he bangs one in in front of the net: pic.twitter.com/2hiCfBQdmm
— 2021 NHL Draft Tracker (@NHLDraftWatch) November 6, 2020
#2021NHLDraft prospect F Prokhor Poltapov scored 1G and 1A in his teams MHL win on Monday.
Here he (#13) does a power move to cut to the net to create the first goal: pic.twitter.com/naHrcbu4lH
— 2021 NHL Draft Tracker (@NHLDraftWatch) November 4, 2020
From earlier today:
Prokhor Poltapov wins it in OT for CSKA #MHL team off a nice work by ’04-born D Artyom Duda.
Going into this season Duda earned a mention on the 2020 Blue Dispatch, looking forward to see more of him in 2021.#NHLDraft pic.twitter.com/mKElhVb35n
— mkp (@mkp_BD) December 4, 2020
Check back tomorrow for our next draft article.
Prokhor Poltapov Scouting Report Main Photo:
“I think the most important thing is that our team won. So this is everything I have to say about (my game).”
Humble Prokhor Poltapov enters the spotlight for the Russians at the #U18Worlds. #2021NHLDraft
: https://t.co/276oho84ej pic.twitter.com/LCJz2uVWjG
— EP Rinkside (@EPRinkside) May 2, 2021