One of the encouraging developments in amateur procurement in the last few years involves adding kids from Russia. Edmonton avoided the area like the plague for a long time, but after the Nail Yakupov selection in 2012, four men (Daniil Zharkov, Bogdan Yakimov, Anton Slepyshev and Ziyat Paigan) have been added to the team.
Paigan was a fascinating selection because of his potential and his late selection. A home run swing that late is the kind of thing many fans have been screaming for, and has been more prevalent since Craig MacTavish returned to the fold. How good is Paigan? Early and encouraging days.
PREVIOUSLY NO. 15 ON THE WINTER LIST
- December 2004: R Troy Bodie (159) (GM: Kevin Lowe)
- December 2005: R Colin McDonald (145) (GM: Kevin Lowe)
- December 2006: D Jeff Petry (344) (GM: Kevin Lowe)
- December 2007: R Colin McDonald (145) (GM: Kevin Lowe)
- December 2008: G Devan Dubnyk (254) (GM: Kevin Lowe)
- December 2009: D Alex Plante (10) (GM: Kevin Lowe)
- December 2010: G Olivier Roy (0) (GM: Steve Tambellini)
- December 2011: D Brandon Davidson (31) (GM: Steve Tambellini)
- December 2012: D Joey Laleggia (0) (GM: Steve Tambellini)
- December 2013: R Tyler Pitlick (27) (GM: Steve Tambellini)
- December 2014: D William Lagesson (0) (GM: Craig MacTavish)
Lots of stories here from the Kevin Lowe era, including Troy Bodie. He is one of the most unusual success stories of the century from the Oilers draft table, successful outside the organization (Anaheim, then Toronto). Devan Dubnyk and Jeff Petry were good prospects but appeared at No.15 during a time when they were either too new to really evaluate (Petry, a few months after his draft) or where progress seemed to be very slow (Dubnyk, Colin McDonald also falls in that category).
Recent seasons have been less substantial, but even with that Brandon Davidson appears to be emerging as we speak. The lesson here is ‘wait five years’ and that is something we have discussed many times.
WHAT THEY SAID ON DRAFT DAY
- The Black Book: His play at the tournament has confimed his upside as well as the need for further development. He is still a bit of a project, on some games he shows flashes of good puck moving ability for such a tall defenseman, in others he struggles with easy plays.He may still be able to improve on some things training with pro, like on the accuracy of his powerful slap shot, but his game needs to evolve rather than a finishing touch.
- ISS: “Like this player. Stay at home d-men that keeps his game simple and boxes out well. PK work was strong all tournament, willing to block shots. Big bodied physical defender with a long reach and good skating ability. Knows his limitations and doesn’t try to do too much. Strong performance at WJC helped move him into our rankings for 2015 NHL draft”.
- Craig Button ranked him No. 86 in the 2015 draft.
- Summer 2015: No. 21
- Winter 2015: No. 15
This is far too early for Paigin to be this high, but the numbers suggest we are dealing with a very good hockey player. His NHLE via Rob Vollman puts him at 82gp, 8-22-30, and the KHL is a strong league. His trade to Sochi appears to have unlocked the potential implied in the scouting reports we read on draft day. He is playing almost 15 minutes a night currently and getting power-play time. A very good story. He is playing with former Oilers defender Alexei Semenov in Sochi.
Photo: Defenseman Ziyat Paigin during warm-up prior to his first game for his new team, HK Sochi. (Image… http://t.co/s2ubWa57Td
— Patrick C (@ChunkletsHockey) October 16, 2015
— Patrick C (@ChunkletsHockey) November 24, 2015
KHL | October 10th, Ak Bars exchanged $$ with HK Sochi for EDM prospect and DB139 Ziyat Paigin. Since then, he has scored 3-5-8 in 10GP.
— DraftBuzz Hockey (@draftbuzzhockey) November 25, 2015
📹 Nice pass from Ziyat Paigin, and an also-nice finish by Mikhail Anisin for HK Sochi against Ugra! https://t.co/qv5EvadMHR
— Patrick C (@ChunkletsHockey) November 25, 2015
- Swedish Poster: He sticks out right away with how tall and lanky. Looked real skinny though part of it might be Sochi’s gear they were wearing an all black gear and every player looked pretty slim. However despite his size he’s surprisingly agile, I had a similar reaction as I had when getting my first real viewing of Nurse where you marvel over how agile he is at that size, he’s not nearly as explosive as Nurse but a real smooth skater.
- More Swedish Poster: He showed off some serious hands as well, something I didn’t expect at all considering his junior numbers. Could ofc be Andy Sutton moments as well and not a regular thing but he pulled off the Mats Sundin style extralong dangle with his giant reach. He also has a solid shot. A couple of dodgy moments when trying too much with the first pass but generally moved the puck well.
- Final Swedish Poster: Defensively he was in good position and showed off a good stick. Crazy reach. Not very physical, still very much a teenage body, has that uncoordinated flimsiness you see in lanky teenage boys, but he seems unafraid at least.
Paigin is the sixth defenseman among the top 15, and the fifth left-handed blue (Nurse, Reinhart, Davidson, Jones, Paigin). Edmonton spent much of the Stu MacGregor fretting over a lack of quality defensive prospects, but that concern in 2010+ made turn this area into a strength in the future.
Paigin turns 21 in February (he is four days younger than Darnell Nurse, who was drafted two years earlier). Based on his play in the KHL, I think we could see some kind of aggressive move, either a trade or signing, in the next few months (depending on his contract status). Edmonton has a very long list of RFA defensemen (Justin Schultz, Brandon Davidson, Martin Gernat, Jordan Oesterle, David Musil) as well as UFAs Eric Gryba and Brad Hunt, so we could see a tremendous turnover this spring and summer.
Peter Chiarelli was the GM on Paigin’s draft day, so he would certainly know the player and be familiar with his skill set.
- 6.06, 210
- 26, 3-9-12 42SOG
- 12:41 TOI/game
THE 2015 DRAFT
- Connor McDavid, No. 1 overall. Incredible talent took about four games to kick out the jams. He is still recovering from injury, Oilers fans anxious for his return. No. 1 prospect, Winter 2015.
- D Caleb Jones, No. 117 overall. The smooth skating defender has been a revelation, displaying a nice range of skills in his early WHL career. No. 13 prospect, Winter 2015.
- D Ethan Bear, No. 124 overall. Surprised he fell as he did in this year’s draft (Button had him third round, I had him second). Either way, he’s an Oilers prospect and things are progressing very well—he is on pace to score 22 goals in the WHL this year. No. 9 prospect, Winter 2015.
- D John Marino, No. 154 overall. Mobile offensive defender had an immediate impact with Tri-City Storm of the USHL. Cooled off, but a promising first quarter. A candidate for the Winter Top 20.
- G Miroslav Svoboda, No. 208 overall. Struggled in the Cze-2 league early but recent efforts have been very strong. Early days. A candidate for the Winter Top 20.
- D Ziyat Paigin, No. 209 overall. A transfer to Sochi unlocked this player and he has been playing a feature role. One of several defensive picks from this draft who are tracking very well. No. 15 prospect, Winter 2015.