This from Sam Cosentino, an amateur draft expert for Sportsnet, his Oilers ranking chooses Dmitri Samorukov as the second best NHL project at the Memorial Cup: "While the Edmonton Oilers experts are ready to point out the interpretation of Ethan Bear , Caleb Jones, and Evan Bouchard, not sleeping on Samorukov making a push to skip all three players since next year The affable Russian plays a pro-style game where he defends with size, physicality and a good stick. He passes the record as an NHL veteran and has a bomb from a shot that will work in the NHL, a well-rounded defender, the 28 points (playoffs) of Samorukov are the most valid for an OHL defender since Ryan Ellis was 33 years old with Windsor in 2010. "
- This is really a great praise of Cosentino. Samorukov won the eighth overall in the 2017 draft from Keith Gretzky and Co, shortly before Nick Suzuki, 13th overall in 2017, Isaac Ratliffe, 35th overall in 2017, Sean Durzi, 52nd overall 2018. Essentially, in a draft of the 2017 draft, Samorukov is likely to rise from 50 to 60 points. Obviously, this does not mean that it is a foolproof NHLer, but it is encouraging news.
- The turning point of the Samorukov season was reduced to an opportunity. On December 15th, his Guelph team traded the first round in the San Jose Ryan Merkley draft, the team's power play quarterback, who had scored 39 points in 28 games. Suddenly, Samorukov was pushed into a leading role in the attack.
- Samorukov scored 13 points in 2018-19 in the regular season, compared to 11 in 2017-18, but started playing in the 2019 playoffs, with 16 points of play in 24 games.
- Overall, after returning from a strong World Junior tournament for Team Russia in January, Samorukov scored 56 points in 53 games, with 28 of these points in 24 playoff games.
- Is Samorukov now as strong a prospect as Ryan Merkley? I doubt that Edmonton would trade the two things – even though Merkley was drafted in 21st place in 2018 – given the difference in size, with Samorukov having many inches and many kilos on Merkley.
- Sean Patrick Ryan, a contributor to Cult of Hockey to our series of potential customers, detailed Samorukov's strengths and weaknesses in mid-March – ahead of the exceptional Samorukov game in the OHOL playoffs – at his excellent Oil Knight blog. Here are some of his comments: "Samorukov's mobility is a real strength. He is an excellent skater with good speed and has a bit of" shake and bake "in his game … That mobility allows him to excel at area exits by bringing the puck out, or by jumping up and joining the attack he loves to do … Samorukov also has a cannon for a shot. He has a lot of twist and can unleash it from any angle … Samorukov is a very effective puck engine and a passerby … His vision is excellent and his head is usually raised … Samorukov can be a real physical presence whenever he wants, he has had some devastating open ice strokes … "It can be really hard to play against when he wants to be … He had serious coherence problems that can't be ignored. It was really terrible many nights throughout his OHL career, making bad decisions and playing too bad. Up to last 3 months, that is was his M.O. Good night, next bad. Hence the references Good Dima vs. Bad Dima. It is very encouraging that it has maintained consistency for a while. of time, but it's still a problem as he moves into minors next year …. He needs to bring his level of competition into his area and become a harder player to play against at night. That's why I think a guy like Dave Manson, who trains the defense in Bakersfield, could have a huge impact on a guy like Dima. "
- The last time we saw Samorukov in Edmonton, he played for rookies Oilers against novices Flames on September 12th. Kurt Leavins del Cult reported: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. The Russian defender suffered from a horrible first period. He was the accomplice of all 3 goals by Flames in the 1st frame: he was shot wrong on the 1-0, he was unable to clear the front on 2-0, so he was caught under his own goal line on the 3rd Flames marker. He recovered his respectability towards the respectable with an assist at 3-2, and again with a good transition pass to earn a 2nd assist on Esposito's goal. Intriguing, but very far from prime-time. "At that time, I reported on him:" He has a certain ability but he struggled with his decision-making process ".
- I put a lot of weight in Ryan, which is both encouraging and soothing, because it is based on several years of this player's vision and comes before the Samorukov series, so it is not overshadowed by the recency bias. It is evident that the Oilers have a hot prospect with a bullet in Samorukov, but it is also evident that Samorukov has a distance to travel before being ready for the NHL. That being said, it is difficult not to be enthusiastic about oil defense in the early 2020s with players like Bouchard, Jones and Samorukov in the system.
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