2015-16 Team: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (#12)
Date of birth: June 18th, 1998
Place of birth: Vancouver, BC
Ht: 6’1″ Wt: 181 lbs
Position: Left Wing
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2016 1st year eligible
THW The Next Ones Ranking (February): 54
- Craig Button (TSN): 56
- HockeyProspect.com: Unranked
Boris Katchouk is in the midst of his first full season in the OHL and he hasn’t disappointed, posting 23 goals and 47 points for a Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds team that has regressed from last season’s first-place squad. A Canadian-born Russian, Katchouk is an intriguing blend of size, skill, and physicality. While he was on the NHL draft radar before the season, Katchouk has worked his way into the discussion as a potential 1st round pick.
While not the biggest player at 6’1″, 181 lbs, Katchouk plays a physical style that allows him to make a difference on every play. He uses his size and strength to his advantage in all three zones, either separating his man from the puck in his own zone or using his frame to protect the puck in the offensive end. Katchouk’s physical play and willingness to drop the gloves, along with his offensive capability, make him a “truculent” player, as Calgary Flames president Brian Burke would say. This, combined with his offensive upside, certainly makes him an intriguing prospect for the 2016 draft.
Katchouk can impact a game with more than just his physical play, however, as he also possesses a high-end skill set that certainly can get fans out of their seats. While not the fastest skater, Katchouk possesses sneaky acceleration that he can use to blow by defenders off the rush. He also exhibits great stickhandling ability, but isn’t the type of player to take risks with the puck and doesn’t often show off his creativity. His shot is his strongest offensive weapon, as he combines a hard wrister with a quick release and has shown no hesitation to fire it from anywhere in the offensive zone.
Katchouk is a safer prospect because of his willingness to play physical in a checking role, but any team drafting him very high in hopes of him turning into an offensive star is taking a big risk. However, all the tools are there for Katchouk to develop into a top-six forward at the NHL level. His ability to slide up and down the lineup makes him an attractive prospect in the second round. If he can flash his offensive ability on a more consistent basis in the playoffs, Katchouk could find his way into the late first round.
NHL Draft Projection:
Katchouk’s numbers are a significant improvement over last year, but his offensive abilities translating to the NHL level is still questionable at best. However, his physicality and speed make him a candidate to play a checking role as well, leaving his floor relatively high. Expect to see Katchouk taken in the mid- to late second round.
A quiet leader, Katchouk does his talking through his work ethic. He provides an excellent forecheck and never quits on a play. He doesn’t have great size but is willing to finish his checks hard. He has a deceptively hard shot with good accuracy.
Boris became one of the most threatening players in the NOJHL by the end of the year. Hungry for the puck he used his foot speed and size to get in on pucks quickly and cause havoc. Dynamic on the rush he attacks with speed, strength and has the puck skills to finish in tight. He will be ready to push for a top 9 role this year starting off as a high energy checker and showing more offence as the season progresses.”
Nathan Dinone, TheScout.ca
- Strong on skates
- Great hands
- Forechecking ability
Under Construction (Improvements to Make):
- Scoring consistency
- Skating speed
- Defensive awareness
- Added strength
Katchouk is a hard-working player with good speed and offensive ability, but the elite offensive ability needed to be a top six forward in the NHL haven’t been flashed on a consistent basis. Katchouk is more likely to slot in as a good middle six forward who can play physical as well as produce good secondary scoring.
NHL Player(s) Comparison – Alexander Steen
Risk = 2.5/5 Reward = 4/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential:
Offensive = 7.5/10 Defensive = 5/10
- 2013-2014 OHL Gold Cup Bronze Medal
- 2014-2015 NOJHL Champion
- 2015-2016 CHL Top Prospects Game
Shots From the Slot (Interesting Notes):
Katchouk is actually a dual-citizen of Russia and Canada, his parents being Russian citizens but Boris’ birthplace being Vancouver.
THW’s The Next Ones prospect profile template design architect: Chris Ralph
Joseph Aleong is an At-Large writer for THW from Toronto, Ontario. He is a graduate of Brock University in St. Catharines, ON. Follow him on Twitter @josephaleong11