This is a helluva pick.
Redline: Excellent natural tools and terrific puck skills with great hands and a wicked shot. He’s kind of a one-trick pony, but it’s the best trick of all: he puts the puck in the net. Has a knack for sliding to open ice just at teh right moment and buries his chances. Has long reach and prtects puck well. Excellent shooter who hides release point well. Has a long, smooth stride and good acceleration, but only skates hard when there’s a scoring opportunity involved. His compete level is poor and completely unacceptable. Resorts to horrific diving and histrionics whenever he gets hit. Some games spends more time on his [backside] than on his skates – a feather could knock him off his feet. Also a perimetre guy with mediocre hockey sense who rarely passes the puck. Still, might be one of the five best pure snipers in a draft starved for offense.
Pronman: Zharkov had a pretty impressive first OHL season despite somewhat underwhelming counting numbers. He’s a good skater who hits a desirable top speed, with good first step quickness, showing very good agility and ability to evade defenders. That last part is also due to his puck skills, which are plus, as he can really dangle and has a lot of individual ability. His goal to assist ratio may give the indication of a poor passer or a puck hog, and while he’ll occasionally look like the latter, he does show many instances of being a fine puck distributor. Zharkov is much better, though, at making moves and getting into shooting position where he displays high-end finishing ability. He shows a fine physical game, as while he still needs to put on strength, he has a projectable frame and will work hard on the forecheck and when he has to battle along the boards. Zharkov doesn’t show that same effort in the other end, and will have to address his defensive game significantly going forward. While he still has some holes in his game, he has great upside and is worth the risk.
- NHL Central Scouting: 32 NAS
- International Scouting Services: No. 33
- The Hockey News: No. 49
- Craig Button Ranking: No. 58
- Bob McKenzie: No. 48
Craig Button: Daniil is a scorer who needs but one chance to make good on it. He has an excellent release and he doesn’t tip his hand to the goaltender when he’s shooting and that creates problems for a goaltender. He is a very good skater with speed and agility and has the ability to shoot off a move or in stride. Given open ice, he is very dangerous and defenders have to be very cognizant of him on the ice because when he breaks open, it is often too late. His 1-1 skills have improved and the next step for him is to make his skating an advantage in beating defensemen 1-1 with the puck and putting them back on their heels and not relying solely on getting behind them. He is smart and recognizes the offensive opportunities that may be unfolding and is quick to act on them. His size is good and with more strength and confidence, he could be a very difficult player to deal with and combined with his skill, could make him a very prolific scorer.