German Rubtsov

Aaron Vickers

Rubtsov is a highly intelligent contributor all over the ice. He is a game-changer and a highly competitive kid. He can be a dominant puck-possession guy, a strong puck-distributor, a finisher, a defensive specialist and even a pest at times. He has strong skating ability, as he is fast and agile; he uses his skating on both sides of the puck. The Russian center plays a complete game and commits defensively, getting back and being hard on his man at all costs. Rubtsov gets back with speed and can break up plays unexpectedly from behind with a quick stick lift and puck scoop. He continuously makes great defensive plays before turning back up ice. Rubtsov seems to always be on the puck, and when he is not, he is relentless in getting on it. He pounces on opportunities, taking advantage of loose pucks and time and space, and has an impressive ability to create something out of absolutely nothing. He is strong on the puck and possesses unexpected soft hands in tight. Rubtsov uses his size and strength to protect the puck and fend off incoming checks all while maintaining possession and getting himself in position to try a shot or pass. He uses his long reach to his advantage to break up plays as well as pull the puck back in tight to his body and away from opposing players; he also uses it to keep the puck a distance from the check, increasing his ability to protect it in open ice. Rubtsov has deceptive speed and is quite shifty while moving full steam ahead, making excellent use of his edges to move laterally. He possesses incredible hockey sense, reading the play well and adapting accordingly, showing no quit in his game. Rubtsov picks his spots very well and has a high-velocity shot that he can get off as he moves toward the net, keeping the puck away from his body just enough to unload. He has a creative mind, and can find his man in traffic with crisp tape-to-tape passes. Rubtsov’s on-ice vision, awareness of the game and work ethic are probably his biggest strengths.  (May 2016)