Prospect Spotlight: Sasha Pastujov
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 USNTDP’s Sasha Pastujov.
- Date of Birth: July 15, 2003
- Position: LW
- Team: U-18 National Team (USDP)
- Height: Six-foot
- Weight: 174
- Shoots: L
Pastujov’s the youngest of three hockey-playing brothers
Pastujov’s older brothers, Nick and Michael, are both former U.S. National Team members and both went on to play college hockey at the University of Michigan. Sasha has chosen a slightly different path. Although he’s committed to playing Big Ten hockey, he’ll be heading to the University of Notre Dame once he finishes up with the National Team. Where Michael went undrafted and Nick was a seventh-round draft pick of the New York Islanders in 2016, Sasha’s expected to go much higher – potentially in the first round.
Pastujov’s T-1 in scoring on the U-18 USNTDP
No Chaz Lucius? No problem. Pastujov has picked up the goal-scoring reigns and leads the National Team with eight goals scored this season. He’s tied first in points with teammate Dylan Duke. If he’s able to continue to put pucks in the back of the net consistently and continue to demonstrate why he’s one of the best playmakers of the draft, Pastujov will become an even more sought-after prospect by the time the draft rolls around.
Pastujov’s a very talented playmaker
What’s so surprising about his increased goal production this season is that Pastujov’s bread and butter is playmaking. He has exceptional vision and his ability to find teammates anywhere on the ice is excellent. Pastujov’s confidence is on display when he has the puck on his stick, his passes are crisp and accurate. He has the ability to be a dual scoring threat, and given that he looks like he’s taken a step forward in the goals department this season, NHL teams should be very excited about Pastujov as this season continues.
What the experts say
“Pastujov showed an ability to get to pucks in a timely manner, giving excellent support down low in his DZ and even getting his stick on passes to create turnovers. He can be shifty and hard to keep pinned down with the puck on his stick in the OZ. He has some decent edgework and turns sharply when evading pressure… Overall, I liked Pastujov’s ability to create under pressure and he was able to show off excellent vision and hands when evading opponents in the OZ. He shows great promise as a skilled puck possessor and is able to find teammates through traffic and get the puck either deeper into the zone, or into more dangerous areas of the ice.” – Head Eastern Canada scout Dylan Galloway