With the extended pause the NHL is currently in, it seems like a perfect time for the much anticipated, frequently promised, Prospect Report. Today, we’ll count down our top five prospects.
With so little going on in the Hockey world right now, felt like the right time to check on the prospects- especially since the last time we took a look at the prospect pool, I demanded it was time for the Wild to Fully Restructure. That was back in November. We were due for a check-in.
After a full season of play under all the players who one day could don a Minnesota Wild Jersey, we count down the top five to be excited for.
5. Alexander Khovanov (Center)
The Russian Center selected in the Third Round of the 2018 Draft, Alexander Khovanov had an electric season. In Fifty-One games this season, Khovanov had Ninety-Nine points: Thirty-Two were goals and Sixty-Seven were assists. That was good for second in the scoring race, only behind the widely agreed number one overall pick in next year’s draft, Alexis Lafreniere.
At 5′ 11′ and a hair under two hundred pounds, Khovanov has very good hands, a precise/accurate shot, and plays a level-headed game. Here’s a goal from World Junior’s this year:
He doesn’t do much in this play, but he picks off a pass from the Canadians trying to exit the zone, and puts a shot on net that the Canadian goalie can’t quite handle, which finds the back of the net.
Khovo Cop winning it in OT:
Great positioning and passing by Khovanov to feed his teammate in a great spot and then receive the 2nd half of the Give n Go to tap it home. Stick on the ice is always nice.
Also from WJC:
Similar thing here, Khovanov does a great job putting himself in position to score, on the back door. He’s always in places ready to receive passes and quickly move the puck to someone else or to put it on net and score.
Sounds like Khovanov is pretty good! And he’s a Center! We need those right? Why’s he so low?
He’s likely still a year or two from playing on the Minnesota Wild roster. Khovanov also might have scared some fans after a Michael Russo Straight From the Source podcast, specifically an episode with Khovanov’s former coach John Torchetti, in which, Torchetti stated that Khovanov had threatened to leave North American hockey for the KHL if he wasn’t on the pro roster.
Fans immediately jumped to the conclusion that Khovanov would be Kaprizov 2.0, in that, we’d have to wait and wait and wait for him to join the pro roster because of an existing KHL contract.
What fans missed from that Torchetti comment is that he had talked him away from making the jump, saying his play would be better improved in the North American system and getting used to North American culture and style of play.
Personally, I think he’ll play for Iowa next year. We may see a call-up to the Pro Roster intermittently through the year, but he’s at least a year away from NHL hockey.
But right now, he looks like a Third Round Steal.