Maxim Lazarev

Aaron Vickers

Lazarev is a diminutive, but silky smooth, offensive contributor who can dish a creative pass or snipe a goal equally well. He’s got some explosiveness in his skating stride as he gets nice and low, and looks to drive to where he wants to go. He has strong lateral agility and edge work. His hands are just fantastic, taking the puck into the busiest areas of the ice and controlling it well. As noted, Lazarev is very creative getting himself into strong position. Once there, he has a dangerously quick release on his shot that is both accurate and hard. He does not need much room to get a shot off from in close either. He plays with a high level of energy, and he is a constant threat on the forecheck, buzzing around the ice often mixing things up after the whistle. He’s not very physical, but does not shy away from that stuff either as he will play through it if his opponent brings that game to him. Lazarev does not show much consistency on defense, but his work ethic seems to be a standout part of his game, even away from the puck. Overall, his size hurts him, as does the fact that he has gone through the draft twice already. However, we feel he has some offensive skill to potentially add to a NHL team’s top six and should be in consideration, especially in a year when the later rounds get a little weaker in talent.   (May 2016)