#12 – German Rubtsov, C – Russia, U18

TSN – #23
Central Scouting – #5 ES
ISS – #15
Craig Button – #14
McKeens – #22
THN – #23

NHL COMPARABLE : Evgeny Kuznetsov
POTENTIAL : Top-6 Playmaking Forward
CEILING: 2nd Line C
FLOOR: KHL Star

Rubtsov is an excellent skater and a crafty and creative playmaker who reminds me of Evgeny Kuznetsov in the way he sees the game. He could be a home run pick but it’s very much boom or bust with this guy. I doubt he’s sticking around to play on any 3rd line…that’s not his game anyways. I get it, teams looking to draft this player will need to feel very confident that he can eventually play in a top-6 role, that he’s committed to fighting to earn that spot and that he wants to play in the best league in the world long-term. Those are some tough calls when the next guy on your list likely doesn’t have these issues. Still, as we’ve seen with the Capitals (Kuznetsov) and Blues (Tarasenko) the risks can be worth the rewards.

So as it goes, we’re going to see the worst teams in the league that are drafting higher not want to take a chance for fear of failing with their precious 1st round pick while the better teams in the league, those drafting #20 to #30, those who already have good depth will be fine taking a chance on such a talented player. That’s how the rich get richer, imo. I think Rubtsov is a top-15 talent in this draft.

REFERENCE via HF BOARDS

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