Scouting Notebook: November 2016

Special To FC2017 Draft Center, From The Notebook

Every season scouts from Future Considerations  spend countless hours in cold rinks across the globe in an effort to gather information on the next wave of NHL talent coming down the pipe. In this monthly column we will provide our readers with a few single scouting snapshots and some early impressions from actual game reports taken by our talented evaluators.

C Greg Meireles, Kitchener, 5-10, 175 Lbs
October 16, 2016 – Kitchener @ Guelph

“The speedy forward has come out of the gate in full force this season sitting as one of the top scorers in his first full rookie season. It is easy to see Meireles’ best attribute is his speed as he zips up and down the ice and all over the offensive zone, weaving in and out of defenders and efficiently distributing the puck. His explosive speed helps him separate from opponents through all zones, but it is most effectively use is in the offensive zone. One second a defender will be covering him at the side of the net, the next with a quick burst of speed Meireles has found his way into the slot completely alone. It is this sneaky separation that allows Miereles to get himself as much space as he does in order to give him the time to create some dynamic plays. Some players that are as speedy as Meireles do not have the hands to keep up with their feet, or are unable to think the game at that speed either; not the case with Meireles. Although he did not show off much of the dynamic stick handling I know he is capable of, he did show flashes of it. An area of improvement for Meireles would be his back checking and defensive play. When Kitchener regained possession of the puck and headed down the ice on the forecheck Meireles lags behind the play sometimes looking too tired to get back or sometimes even careless on the backcheck. If Meireles used his speed as effectively on the back check as he does on the forecheck he could see himself rise in the draft.“ -Dylan Galloway

LW Ivan Kozlov, Val d’Or, 6-0, 200 Lbs
October 8, 2016 – Val d’Or @ Quebec (QMJHL) 

“Kozlov scored a hat-trick against the Remparts. On his first goal it was a give and go play. He passed the puck to his teammate and he used his speed to crash the net before tipping the puck in. On the second goal, he was at the faceoff circle and he took a really good snapshot beating the goaltender over the glove. Kozlov showed in pre-game warm-ups that his shot is not only hard but that the accuracy is on point. He rarely missed the net and when the goalie was in the net, he beat him with skilled shots often. Again, he showed that accuracy on the second goal, releasing a perfect shot. I loved his speed getting up and down the ice. His first steps allow him to reach his top speed quickly; however, with added leg strength and refinement of his footwork he would be even more effective. He was often a little bit too lazy to continuously impact the play as he only used his skating ability when he had a chance to create something in the offensive zone. He didn’t use his speed in the d zone to break plays up or to put constant pressure on the puck carrier. On the PP, he is not afraid to go in front of the net and he did a real good job obstructing to goalie’s view. He is not afraid to engage himself physically along the boards or tangle with a defender in front. He showed some very strong skills in this viewing, which is typical when a kid scores a hat trick, but I feel like he could be even better if he improved his strength and engages in the play more consistently.” -Maxime Duquet

C Georgi Ivanov, Loko Yaroslavl, 6-0, 185 Lbs
October 17, 2016 – MHK Krylia Sovetov Moskva @ Loko Yaroslavl (MHL)

“Ivanov is a smart center and an important player for Loko. He plays a lot of times this season in one line with skilled winger Kayumov (CHI, 2016), the top player of Yaroslavl junior team. In the game against Krylia Sovetov on Monday night he had an assist, but was a key to a victory. In the first period, after Loko grab 1-0 lead, Ivanov tried to score with a quick slap-shot, the net minder blocked the puck, right to the Kayumov’s stick, who gave the puck to the defenseman Gromov. At that time Ivanov quickly moved to the area in front of the net and closed off the view for the goalkeeper. Gromov wired a quick wrist from the blue line that was successful thanks in large part to Ivanov’s ability to read the play and get to the right spot. Ivanov plays a good two-way game, and he cares not only for points in offense, but also takes pride in killing penalties, playing hard and smart in the defensive zone. One of his best attributes is his willingness and strength in puck battles, where he often comes away with a win. I have no doubts that Ivanov will make his KHL/VHL debut next season and in my opinion should be drafted in the early rounds of the 2017 NHL draft. He is a strong two-way prospect with good work ethic and senses.” -Anton Vasyatin