Minnesota Wild: Russian prospects hope to spark offensive revolution

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 23: A general view of the Minnesota Wild draft table is seen during Round One of the 2017 NHL Draft at United Center on June 23, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 23: A general view of the Minnesota Wild draft table is seen during Round One of the 2017 NHL Draft at United Center on June 23, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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DALLAS, TX – JUNE 23: Alexander Khovanov greets his team after being selected 86th overall by the Minnesota Wild during the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on June 23, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images) /

More time in juniors will be key for Khovanov

Alexander Khovanov is the second most likely to graduate to the Minnesota Wild if you base that idea solely on the fact he already plays in Canada, thus isn’t tied to any sort of KHL contract.

Realistically, he moved over to Canada most likely to improve his chances of making the NHL and when the Minnesota Wild picked him in the 3rd round (86th overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, they brought that potential goal one step closer to reality.

Khovanov, like many Russian-born players, possesses a silky pair of mitts, game smarts and an accurate shot.

He showed up impressively in the Traverse City Prospects tournament representing the Minnesota Wild and has already made a decent showing playing for Team Russia in the CIBC Canada Russia Series recently.

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Those outings, coupled with another year in major junior hockey with the Moncton Wildcats are only going to help his game.

He is reportedly looking faster this year and the highlights I saw of the Canada Russia Series showed that he certainly has decent hockey intelligence.

Last year’s 29 games with the Moncton Wildcats resulted in 28 points. This year so far, he’s doing slightly better with 24 points from 21 games in the QMJHL.

In regards to his development curve, we’re talking about a player that isn’t yet nineteen, whereas some of his fellow Russian, hopefully future Minnesota Wild teammates, are already in their early twenties.

He has plenty of time to add a bit more bulk to a frame that isn’t yet ready, I don’t think, for a role as a center in a professional league.

As long as he continues to put in the effort and continues to tally points with the Wildcats, he’ll gain the confidence that he needs to graduate to the next level and be able to perform just as well.

dark. Next. Wild remaining steady in latest Power Rankings

The future is red for the Minnesota Wild; there’s a Russian revolution on its’ way! If these players pan out anywhere near how good they’re expected, that’s the future core of the forward group right there.

Statistics courtesy of Elite Prospects.