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  • HW Staff Mock Draft Pick 21: Ivan Barbashev


    Who is Ivan Barbashev?

    When talking about Ivan Barbashev, scouting reports are quick to point out that he's not a typical Russian player. He manages to avoid the usual descriptions Russian players get of being "lazy" or "inconsistent" because he plays like a grinder even though he has a top line skill set. Barbashev is a player who is always working whether in the offensive or the defensive zone. As he adjusted to the North American style of play in his first season with Moncton, his coach reduced his ice time and played him on the third line. Rather than pouting, Barbashev put effort into improving his defensive skills. While his point totals last season were less than many other first round hopefuls, he was the Wildcats' biggest offensive threat and was targeted by opposition defenses.

    NHL Central Scouting's Troy Dumville had this to say about Barbashev's physical play:

    His biggest strength is that he's well-rounded. Multifaceted and tenacious, he's a pretty good skater, strong, and has good hockey sense. A man who is 6'1 and always competing will be a threat in any NHL offense.


    This seriously fancy goal is the result of hard work. Barbashev just wants the puck more than the defenders, and he keeps working and beats them.


    It's rare that highlight videos show defensive efforts, but this play is certainly highlight worthy.

    Would the Wild Select Barbashev?

    The Wild generally don't draft Russians, and I don't know if Barbashev is a big enough slam dunk for them to take that risk. Wild management may find his size or his two-way game appealing, but they know that the biggest need is a goal scorer. Barbashev tailed 25 goals and 43 assists last season which would suggest that he is more of a playmaker than pure scorer, and the Wild already have plenty of playmakers. I would like to see the Wild draft a more dynamic offensive threat.

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