A new month means a new Top 200 Fantasy Prospect Forward ranking and thus is where we turn for this week’s installment of The Journey.
Kirill Maksimov – EDM, up to 190 from 314
Kirill Maksimov is a rare breed for the Edmonton Oilers as he is one of only three Russians in the system. Ranked as a projected third or fourth rounder, Maksimov slid to the Oilers in the fifth where they picked him up with pick number 146. After one season in the organization, it’s beginning to look like a good value pick for them in that spot. Although born in Russia, Maksimov is a dual Canadian citizen and left home at an early age to come to Canada to play in the GTHL. He was picked by the Saginaw Spirit in the OHL priority draft where he played his first one and a half junior seasons scoring 21 points in 54 games in 2015-16 and 16 points in 37 games in 2016-17 before a January trade sent him to the Niagara Ice Dogs where his game really took off. In 29 games down the stretch for the Ice Dogs, Maksimov scored 15 times, marking Niagara’s fifth highest total despite playing only half a season with them, to go along with seven helpers. In the playoffs he scored four times in as many games to lead the Ice Dogs. His draft+1 year proved that the second half of 2016-17 was no fluke as he proceeded to lead the team in goals with 34, was third in assists with 46, and second in points with 80.
Across the OHL he was 20th overall in goal scoring, finished tied for 19th with 60 primary points, and tied for 23rd with 0.97 primary points per game. A big part of his development has been the decision to shoot the puck more. He saw a 50% increase in shots per game, going from 2.42 in 2016-2017 to 3.66 in 2017-18. His shot is one of the things that the Oilers really like about him.
From Assistant General Manager, Keith Gretzky "I've seen him a couple of times and know the other (scouts) have seen him," said Gretzky. "He's got a great shot. He gets penalty kill time, which is good. He's learning the two-way game, so I like that part of his game. That was one of his knocks, was his skating." Word is the Oilers got Maksimov a healthy dose of time with their skating coach and he’s made great strides in this area.
All-in-all it was a pretty encouraging year for the fifth rounder and Peter Chiarelli had seen enough to lock him up, signing him to an entry-level deal. He’s probably still a few years away but he’s a name to stash away.
Ty Rattie – EDM, up to 135 from 236
Much was expected from Rattie on the heels of being selected with the 32nd pick in the 2011 NHL Draft by the St. Louis Blues.