Rinat Valiev

Aaron Vickers

A solid defenseman who skates at a very high level. Extremely smooth on his feet and handles the puck equally well. Easily makes plays that big defensemen usually struggle with. Is able to evade pressure with his puck skills and his impressive smarts. Really shows an aptitude to make smart and creative ways to open up plays in the middle of the ice. Pass-first type defenseman who will never light it up, but is proficient between the blue lines. Maintains a good position and an active stick in the defensive end. Isn’t overly physical in the corners, but was able to pick up loose pucks out of scrums and quickly dart a pass. Would’ve liked to see a little more snarl in the corners. He has smarts and shows very good tools in all aspects of the game. Makes a ton of very smart passes and moves that help his team transition up ice. (May 2014)