Prospect Spotlight: Prokhor Poltapov
Prospect Spotlight is a feature highlighting NHL Draft eligibles and giving a peek into what makes them an intriguing prospect ahead of the 2021 NHL Draft. This edition features Krasnaya Armiya Moskva’s Prokhor Poltapov.
- Date of Birth: February 1, 2003
- Position: RW
- Team: Krasnaya Armiya Moskva (MHL)
- Height: five-foot-10
- Weight: 161 pounds
- Shoots: L
Poltapov captained Dynamo Moskva’s U18 team as a 15-year old
Not only was Poltapov named captain of Dynamo Moskva’s U18 team when he was just 15 years old, but he also led that team in scoring by a wide margin, with 13 goals and 25 points in 17 games during the 2018-19 season. Though he was playing on a team with several others his age, it’s impressive that he was chosen to captain as one of those younger team members. Not to be outdone on the international stage, Poltapov also won gold with Russia at the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, where he finished the tournament with seven points in six games.
Smaller, but mighty
At only five-foot-10, Poltapov isn’t necessarily small, but he’s definitely on the smaller side, especially when you take his weight into account at 161 pounds. However, Poltapov does not shy away from physical play despite his small frame and thrives on disrupting plays, whether he uses his stick or his body to do it. Poltapov likes to drive the net and crash the crease and has the ability to redirect pucks with his stick or bang them in off rebounds.
One of the top Russian prospects available in 2021
Poltapov has already eclipsed his point production from last season with his 26 points in 35 games so far in the MHL season. He’ll have to separate himself from fellow countrymen Daniil Lazutin and Nikita Chibrikov to become the best Russian prospect available for the upcoming NHL draft. Poltapov is an excellent skater who uses both his body and deft hands to protect the puck. He can also be very involved on the defensive side of the game, working hard to backcheck, and using his stick to force turnovers or intercept passes.
What the experts say
“Poltapov is an extremely talented player when he turns it on. But the problem is that he doesn’t turn it on enough… his offensive awareness is very high. He can read the gaps so well and isn’t afraid to drive the net. His edgework is excellent, allowing him to widen the gap between him and his defender and most of the time, he protects the puck well with both his stick and his body… Poltapov looks like he could be a high-risk, high-reward player.” – FCHockey’s crossover scout Josh Bell
“The first thing that stands out with Poltapov is his effort level and intensity at both ends of the ice. There are no wasted shifts for Poltapov during the game as he looks to make a mark whenever he is on the ice. Without the possession, he is a disruptive presence who is adept at stripping the opposition and turning turnovers into offence. He is a hound on the backcheck and is diligent in ensuring that he is on the right side of the puck. His combination of effort and smarts really serves him well in defensive coverage as he gives his mark very little time and space.” – FCHockey’s Western Canada scout Donesh Mazloum