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Avalanche selects Danila Zhuravlyyov 146th overall

Jesse Montano Avatar
June 23, 2018

Colorado tapped the Russian well once again when they selected six-foot defenseman Danila Zhuravlyov with the 146th pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.

Having spent the last year playing with Irbis Kazan of the MHL for most of last season, Zhuravlyov tallied 18 points (9-9—18) in 28 games as a 17-year-old from the blue line. Very mobile, and an exceptional skater, Zhuravlyov can move the puck up the ice very effectively by distributing or carrying it himself. He fits the mold for exactly what Colorado has been targeting in recent years.

One of the knocks against him is that he can sometimes play a little too aggressively in the offensive zone, causing him to get caught out of position. However, his skating is so great, that he is able to recover in more instances than not. His agility and first three steps are some of the best in this year’s draft.

Coming in at six-foot, he’s not quite your typical “under-sized” defenseman, but he will need to pack on some weight in order for him to be truly effective at the NHL level.

A left-handed defenseman, Danila Zhuravlyov got a fair amount of use by the Russian National team this year, playing in the Ivan Hlinka, Five Nations, and World Junior Under-18’s tournaments. It was at these tournaments where a lot of scouts got their only looks at him. Having spent the whole year in the less-scouted MHL, many teams weren’t quite as familiar with him.

“I loved his transitional play, he’s an impressive skater with untapped offensive potential,” said one of the scouts who saw him play.

This is a player that is not unlike Colorado’s 2017 fifth round selection Igor Shvyryov in the sense that you’re taking a bit of swing in hopes that he will be willing to leave his home nation and come play in North America.

Colorado’s director of scouting Alan Hepple told members of the media after the team’s final selection of the weekend, that the team had already spoken to the players that weren’t in attendance in Dallas, including Zhuravlyov, and that there was a chance they all report for Development Camp later this week in at the team’s practice facility in Centennial, Colorado.

While you have to keep in mind that Zhuravlyov was available in the fifth round and coming to North America is almost always a question mark, this is a kid that has real NHL potential if he continues to develop properly. Hopefully, we will be able to get a glimpse of him in Denver this week to give us a better idea of what not only what kind of player he is up close, but what his mindset is like relative to leaving Russia.

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