2021-22 Team: SKA-1946 St. Petersburg (MHL)
Date of Birth: Nov. 3, 2003
Place of Birth: Moskva, Russia
Height: 6-foot-3, Weight: 181 pounds
Eligibility: First-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting (EU Skaters): 31st
- FC Hockey: 88th
- TSN/Craig Button (March Rankings): 52nd
- The Hockey Writers (Zator): 96th
- The Hockey Writers (Forbes): 89th
- The Hockey Writers (Baracchini): 82nd
Arseni Koromyslov is a Russian defenseman who primarily played for SKA-1946 St. Petersburg in the MHL — the Russian junior league — where he finished with four goals and 19 points in 42 games. He also appeared in two games for SKA-Neva St. Petersburg in the VHL — the Russian equivalent of the AHL — and six games for SKA St. Petersburg in the KHL.
Unless you’re Artyom Duda, you’re probably not going to put up gaudy point totals in the MHL if you’re a defenseman. That doesn’t mean you don’t have offensive upside or can’t move the puck; it’s just indicative of the league. After all, 97 of the top 100 scorers in the MHL were forwards.
Related: 2022 THW NHL Draft Guide
In Koromyslov’s case, he can move the puck and does show some offensive upside. We’ll start with his passing ability, which is an underrated part of his makeup. He makes good breakout passes out of the defensive zone, and he’s a smart passer, as he usually makes good decisions with the puck on his stick. From time to time, he’ll show there’s a bit more offensive potential to unlock in his game:
Part of Koromyslov’s ability to move the puck out of the defensive zone also comes from his smooth skating. For a player who already stands at 6-foot-3, 181 pounds, he skates quite well, which helps his transition game through the neutral zone. That’s become an important part of today’s game, as defensemen who constantly chip the puck off the glass don’t tend to stick around the NHL too long.
While there’s some offensive potential, simply because he can move the puck, Koromyslov’s strength is his defensive game. He defends the rush very well, and he has different ways of doing so. He can break up rush attempts by using his physical frame, or he can do it by using an active stick and poke-checking the puck away from a rushing attacker. That’s something you like to see for a defensive defenseman with his physical makeup.
Though Koromyslov has a bit of offensive upside and can move the puck, his offensive ceiling seems limited. You don’t have to be prime Erik Karlsson or Cale Makar offensively to succeed in the NHL as a defenseman, but you need to be able to contribute some offense at that level since scoring continues to trend up in the league. Improving his shot would help, so that’s something he’ll have to work on as he continues to develop in Russia in his post-draft years.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Arseni Koromyslov — Draft Projection
Koromyslov isn’t listed on many draft rankings, but he is a consensus top 100 prospect; some even have him as a fringe second-round pick. Defensive defenseman with his traits and physical makeup tend to catch NHL GMs’ eyes, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if he went in the second round. But the more likely scenario is a team takes a shot on him in the third.
“Koromyslov is a bright spot on this rather dull Russian blue line. In the offensive zone, he attacks open ice and uses patience to his advantage to draw defenders to him, make a move to get past, and then get the puck to the net. He’s physically mature, so he has no fear of getting into gritty areas to deceptively retrieve the puck. He passes through the neutral zone effectively, but can also take it himself. He should be taking up a spot in the top-four, plus potentially getting chances on the powerplay and penalty kill.” – Dylan Griffing, EP Rinkside.
“Koromyslov is a two-way defenseman who relies on his positioning and instincts to make his mark in games. His ability to defend the rush stands out the most. He is always certain to shut down passing lanes and then begin making moves on the puck carrier. He can also use his large frame to impose himself on junior opponents, although I’m not sure that aspect of his game can project to higher levels…” – Josh Frojelin, FC Hockey.
- Ability to defend the rush
- Physical presence
- Net-front defense
Under Construction — Improvements to Make
- Shot/shooting ability
- Offensive ability
Because it’s unlikely he posts the offensive numbers needed to play up the lineup, Koromyslov’s ceiling is likely that of a third-pair defender who plays on the penalty kill.
Risk: 2.5, Reward: 3.5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense: 5, Defense: 7.5
Arseni Koromyslov Statistics
Koromyslov won a silver medal with Team Russia at the 2021 U-18 World Junior Championship and won the MHL championship with SKA-1946 St. Petersburg this past season.
Arseni Koromyslov Video
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Alex Chauvancy is a New Jersey Devils writer for The Hockey Writers who has a penchant for advanced stats, prospects, signings and trades. He previously wrote for Devils Army Blog, a New Jersey Devils fan blog, from 2015-2017