Notebook: Mailloux, Poltapov, Stankoven & More
Every season, FCHockey’s scouts are scouring the globe to get eyes on prospects eligible for the 2021 NHL Draft and beyond.
They spend countless hours watching both live games and game tape to get the best possible analysis on the prospects entering the NHL Draft. Our Unpacking the Notebook series takes a look at some of the reports that FCHockey’s scouts have filed over the past week.
Here’s a glimpse at our scout’s analysis.
Marcus Almquist, RW, Rodovre Mighty Bulls (Denmark)
Herves 5 – Rodovre 1 – December 30, 2020
Scouting report by Derek Neumeier
At his best, Marcus Almquist is a very fun little player. He is incredibly quick and agile and has a stellar pair of mitts. When he gets the puck in the offensive zone he can really buzz as he darts around, slips through or around traffic and funnels pucks into dangerous areas. Zone exits and entries with possession aren’t problems for him. His decisions with the puck aren’t perfect, but he is capable of creating dangerous chances out of nothing in a way that most other prospects aren’t. Can slow the play down in the offensive zone to find his openings or up the pace to force mistakes. Doesn’t get any power behind his shots because he is tiny and slight, though his precision with the puck should allow him to score goals in tight. Is elusive with his feet and can curl to protect the puck, though there were a surprising number of times in this game where he lost his edges. Play without the puck isn’t great, in either his efforts or his awareness, and he needs to be more careful when trying to pass the puck up ice in transition. Luckily for him, he’s good enough offensively that he can get by on that without being a great 200-foot player. With the right development and patience Almquist could become an entertaining and productive winger at the NHL level.
Logan Mailloux, D, SK Lejon (HockeyEttan)
SK Lejon 5 – Ornskoldsvik 3 – February 14, 2021
Scouting report by Joseph Aleong
Despite playing on a very weak team, Logan Mailloux has done well to acquit himself in a third-tier Swedish professional league while jumping straight from the Ontario Jr. A levels. He is a rangy and surprisingly agile skater, showing strong lateral movement and decent agility to stop and change directions under pressure. He accelerates well and shows an aggressive nature jumping into the rush, often beating the first forechecker with his feet or a long outlet pass. He isn’t afraid to pinch low into the offensive zone to keep the play alive either, showing confidence handling the puck on the cycle and through traffic. He is a pretty skilled puckhandler, showing good poise under pressure and the ability to weave through traffic in the neutral zone. Shows the ability to walk the offensive blue line as well, using his edges to open up better shooting lanes for himself. He shows a consistent and effective physical side in his own end, finishing his checks and showing a nasty side along the boards and in front of the net. He has a penchant for timing open ice hits and is strong enough to push opponents off the puck at the professional level. His defensive zone coverage is inconsistent, as he can get caught puck-watching sometimes and his aggressiveness to look for offense can leave him vulnerable when turnovers happen. Overall, Mailloux shows some promising indicators, including his skating stride, confidence with the puck, and effective physical play, but it’ll be tough to compare him to his peers near the top of the NHL Draft until we see him get a chance to be a regular on the Knights’ blue line.
Verner Miettinen, C, Kiekko-Espoo U20 (U20 SM-sarja)
Espoo Jr. 4 – Kookoo Jr. 2 – November 6, 2020
Scouting report by Austin Broad
Great work supporting the puck and his teammates whenever they were under pressure, Verner Miettinen was sure to give an outlet for anyone who was under attack. At times he struggled to control the puck, a few rushes died on his stick either by mishandling a pass or over handling the puck. He seemed to be thinking of his next move before he had full control of the puck. In the offensive zone he was excellent off the puck, showing the ability to work from the outer areas into the slot for shot opportunities. Both of Miettinen’s goals in this game came from the slot. On the first goal he was wide open, had the time to gather the puck and beat the goalie clean without any pressure. His second goal was the result of a quick one-timer with a defender all over him. You can see Miettinen’s hockey IQ, he knows exactly where to be and when to be there. He has the tools be a very good hockey player, he just needs to find a way to put all of his tools together. Miettinen is worth a mid-round pick at the upcoming NHL Draft.
Oliver Nadeau, RW, Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL)
Shawinigan 3 – Blainville-Boisbriand 4 – February 18, 2021
Scouting report by Andy Lehoux
Oliver Nadeau was one of Shawinigan’s most effective attackers tonight, bringing intensity and effort in all areas of the ice while also providing countless offensive sparks. The Canadian attacker is a playmaking power forward who combines an incredible upper body/core strength with a crisp vision and decision-making. The right winger can separate players from the puck with what seems to be little to no effort. This allows him to distribute crushing hits, but most importantly, command the corners with an intimidating physical presence. Although his frame gives him an advantage from the get-go, Nadeau showcases a dexterous, skillful stick to recover a ton of pucks in tight spaces and come out of traffic in control. The 6-foot-2 forward possesses outstanding puck protection abilities, as he shields the puck away from his opponent and surveys his passing options. This, in part, helps him come out of puck battle wins as a playmaking threat. He is very active around the crease, sending quick passes for teammates in front, or parking himself there as a screen. If Gretzky’s office was behind the net, Nadeau’s workshop is right in front of the crease. He’s like a bull in a china shop, almost impossible to contain and crashing on everything that moves. He’s not only very effective at covering up the goaltender’s vision, but he jumps on rebounds promptly, flashing almost feline-like reflexes. These second-hand opportunities are what makes him so dangerous as a scoring threat. Nadeau’s relentless energy in puck battles drizzles to other parts of his game. He constantly puts the extra effort into the backcheck and he’s focused on his task in all three zones. Nadeau has clear restrictions as a skater; his 2-3 step acceleration is below average and his mobility needs work. His lack of speed doesn’t refrain him from getting involved in outbreaks and counterattacks though, as his anticipation and passing skills make him active in transition. The prospect compensates with tremendous playmaking on zone exits and entries, as he’s poise to find the open man and deliver smooth outlets. Nadeau also flashed fluid decking abilities in rushes. He doesn’t possess the quickest or most elusive mitts, but he has a few tricks to get by his defender. Overall, outside of skating, Nadeau is one of the most complete attacker from the QMJHL, owning impressive physical attributes, terrific hockey senses and a tremendous compete. If you’re betting on improving his quickness and mobility, Nadeau could be an amazing middle-round selection.
Prokhor Poltapov, RW, Krasnaya Armiya (MHL)
MHC Spartak 1 – Krasnaya Armiya 2 – March 16, 2021
Scouting report by Brandon Holmes
This was a very strong showing for Prokhor Poltapov in a playoff matchup with Spartak Moskva, as the Russian winger was consistently one of the best and most dynamic forwards on the ice throughout the game. From the drop of the puck, he was consistently engaged in all facets of the game, showing a very strong work ethic and motor that extended all the way to the game’s conclusion in overtime. Poltapov played very aggressively on opposing puck carriers, hounding defenders on the forecheck to create a couple of offensive zone turnovers while also showing a willingness to backcheck hard and assist in defensive breakups. Poltapov’s skating ability was the trait that stood out the most throughout this game; his skating posture was very good, he displayed very smooth edgework and could pull away from checkers with quick pivots and crossovers, his top speed allowed him to move north and south very well, and his ability to stop and start and accelerate quickly was there as well. Poltapov’s ability as a quick, dynamic skater allowed him to forecheck effectively, be involved in defensive play while backchecking, and most notably made him a dangerous attacker in transition. He possesses a ton of upside as a quick-strike attacker, his ability to attack defenders one-on-one with speed, elusiveness, and smooth puck skills resulted in one breakaway (which drew a penalty) and a plethora of controlled zone entries. Poltapov often showed a willingness to try difficult, flashy plays, which did bite him on occasion with offensive zone and neutral zone turnovers. While in the offensive zone, he shows a willingness to filter pucks to high-danger areas to create scoring chances, often sending passes to the slot or attempting several shots on goal throughout the game. Like his tendency to try risky, flashy plays, he could learn to pick his spots more effectively when passing and shooting, as he forced passing and shooting lanes that were covered at times which resulted in a loss of offensive possession. All in all, this was a very exciting showing for Poltapov, as he demonstrated high-end dynamic qualities that could make him a dangerous offensive contributor in the future.
Logan Stankoven, C, Kamloops Blazers (WHL)
Victoria 3 – Kamloops 4 – April 11, 2021
Scouting report by Justin Froese
Logan Stankoven was a jolt of energy for the Blazers, as I’ve come to expect from him from past viewings. But unlike his rookie season, his style of play has shifted to a more methodical approach. In the past I felt that Stankoven played a really bull-like game, getting into tight areas with the puck and trying to force middle lanes with solo efforts, a game that isn’t overly translatable. Although I’ve had my concerns, I was really impressed with how he was reading the ice and utilizing width in his game, moving pucks laterally with precision and introducing a more structured playmaking element to his arsenal. While he’s not perfect with where he sets himself up to make plays and he still needs to work on using his quickness and body to protect pucks and use both sides of his stick to make plays, I feel he’s becoming more equipped to be a more offensively rounded player who is a dual-threat. Stankoven’s off-puck movement and ability to time plays to plan his approach instead of working solely in tight ice has benefitted his overall ability to see the ice from a larger scope. Agility with his feet and mentality is a huge part of his game and he’s all about quick read and react plays and deviating laterally to play elusive with the puck. His ability to pick up all types of pucks up and put himself into position to get pucks onto his hip is more impressive to me than his overall quickness or creativity. As a result, Stankoven has a dynamite release on shots and even though he’s not a big kid can blend a catch and release among the best and wire pucks from varying points. He’s an elite threat in open ice but I also love that knack he has to drive to the crease and hunt pucks or provide himself as an option, much how he was able to score his goal in this game. Off the puck, I do like some of Stankoven’s tendencies and effort level but find that some of the details are lacking and question whether he might best be suited as a wing. He tends to circle around on missed assignments and not really have great stick detail to eliminate pressing threats and has a tendencies to keep his stick waist height instead of directing traffic. His closing speed is excellent and even though his stride length lacks some depth he does a phenomenal job of driving laterally to create great angles to the ice which make his first three strides as lethal as they are. I want to see more variance out of him as an offensive manipulator and I’m impressed by the strides forward this season. He’s isolating defenders more frequently and not trying to be a one-man show to the same extent as last year. He should make a push for a mid-first-round pick.
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