This is Mikael Zoukov. He was born in Leningrad (St. Petersburg), Russia, USSR on January 3, 1985. His name has been spelled differently so many times a google search is pretty much useless. I’ve seen Mikael Zoukov, Mishail Joukov and Mikhail Zhukov and any combination of the three over the years.

Now 23 years old, he’s in trouble as an NHL prospect no matter how you spell his name. Picked 72nd overall in the very deep 2003 draft, he has struggled plenty since that day. Much of the trouble he’s had as a pro could go back to a serious injury suffered in 04-05 that wiped out most of that season.

His scouting report goes likes this (courtesy Guy Flaming): Has excellent tools: great-sized frame, soft hands, terrific shot, and good vision. Has game breaking moves and scoring touch. Skates well for a tall kid and definitely has some jump to his game, but only in the offensive zone; needs to work much harder in the defensive end. Good size but doesn’t take advantage of it. Not a physical player and doesn’t finish checks, but isn’t afraid of traffic or the corners. Strictly one-dimensional, but his scoring upside is an attractive commodity. Very raw and nowhere near the sum of his parts, but has been coming on like gangbusters down the stretch; could really become an offensive force.

Guy reported earlier this year that the Oilers will likely allow him to become a free agent this summer and his RSL season (43gp, 3-8-11) doesn’t offer any reason to argue the point. Russia is Death Valley for the Oilers at the draft table.

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7 Responses to "Joukov"

  1. Ribs says:

    Geez, with a mug like that you’d almost have to be hitting people.

  2. honkey says:

    He had a pretty good year playing for Västerås(same team Patrik Berglund and Mikael Backlund plays for) and was about to get a bigger role for the club maybe even playing 1st line minutes.
    If he just had stayed that route maybe he would be really close to NHL now.

    Instead he goes home(he lived most of his life in Sweden but was born there) to Russia and sign for a powerhouse team that is stacked with Stars and he gets 4th line minutes when he can crack the lineup or is not injured.

    He seems to have settled in as a 3rd line center and is probably a useful player for AK Bars Kazan.
    I’m sure he earns a lot of money playing for a top team in RSL but I’b like to think he could have had a very different career if he just stayed put in Västerås for one or two more season getting lots of minutes in all kind of situation which is crucial in developing as a player in those years.

  3. markmac says:

    Hi Lowetide,

    Long time reader, first time poster. Largely because I finally have something to contribute, as someone who lived a few years in Russia….

    I’d go with Mikhail Zhukov. That would be the most common transliteration of Михаил Жуков, which is how our hero’s name is spelled in Russian.

    I agree, though. Any way you spell it, I’d rather see Mikhonov get another spin before giving Zhukov a roster spot.


    Mark MacKinnon

  4. Bruce says:

    Mikhonov? Never seen it with an “o” in the middle.

    Thanks, Mark.

  5. Lowetide says:

    Mark: Thanks for the info, drop in anytime.

  6. markmac says:

    oops, there is indeed only one O in Mikhnov (микнов). i blame my right ring finger, which apparently added the extra vowel unilaterally.

    and thus ended my brief stint with the Russian transliteration police.

  7. Bruce says:


    Thanks, Mark. Mikhnov it is.

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