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Marchenko has good hands. He can make plays with the puck while moving at top speed. When defenders back off to protect against his speed and skill, he can take advantage of the passing lanes that are opened up, finding teammates with tape-to-tape passes. He is a creative player looking to get by defenders one-on-one and create plays that way as well. Marchenko is more a goal scorer than playmaker. His shot is accurate and features a good release, but is only average in terms of power. Most of his goals come in close to the net.
Marchenko has the type of high-end skill to play in the top-six in the NHL, with continued development. However, he is very much a boom-or-bust prospect. Concerns about his lack of defence and physicality will create some issues unless he can address those going forward. It will take some time and a patient development team. – Last Word on Hockey
Marchenko is an interesting guy because the skill level is so high and his size is good but has potential to be great after he gets a bit bigger and stronger. The combination of the two makes him a very intriguing prospect but he’s another guy whose physical tools are ahead of his cohesive hockey skills right now. He’s able to string together some impressive sequences but if he’s challenged, especially physically, he will occasionally back down and decide to gear down the aggression entirely.
This ability to be taken out of his game betrays what really is an impressive array of skills, especially offensively. He’s a very natural skater with great agility for his size and his hands really stand out as special when you watch him work his way through tight spaces. The biggest issue facing him is consistency with the mental aspects of the game. He doesn’t seem to particularly enjoy engaging physically, which is, flatly, a colossal waste of great size. He could be a physically dominant player down the line if he fills out his impressive frame and dedicates himself to making a difference on every shift. If he does that, he could be the steal of the whole draft.
Colorado’s recent affinity for Russians and their need for size and help on the wings would make Marchenko a very intriguing possibility. Despite a very mediocre season for his regular club, Marchenko broke out and had an excellent showing internationally to push him up on draft boards. The talk has gotten loud enough that it seems he’ll be selected between Colorado’s picks at 16 and 47. His high-end upside would make him a good fit for Colorado’s needs but not with the 16th pick. His game has some upside but I’m not comfortable enough with that package of tools to take him inside the first 20 picks. His draft stock, like so many Russians before him, is volatile based on what his plans are moving forward. His rights were traded to powerhouse SKA near the end of the year so he will have plenty of opportunity to make serious money very soon if he stays in Russia and flourishes. That alone is enough to move me off of him at 16.
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