2020-21 Team: Chaika Nizhny Novgorod – MHL
Date of Birth: Mar. 19, 2003
Place of Birth: Saratov, Russia
Ht: 6-foot-1 Wt: 176 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2021 first-year eligible
If a team is looking for a mid-round draft pick with breakout potential, they should look no further than Ilya Fedotov. As an offensive first forward, Fedotov has one of the best shots in the draft, and his scoring acumen is second to none for players at his skill level.
In the 2020-21 season, he played 54 games for Chaika Nizhny Novgorod of the MHL, posting 18 goals and 38 points. Going back to 2019-20, when he was in the Russia U18 league, he scored 20 goals and 56 points in just 27 games played. While scoring is clearly his strong point, Fedotov isn’t necessarily bad in his own zone either. It just isn’t an aspect of his game that is particularly notable when compared to his offensive strengths.
Related: THW 2021 NHL Draft Guide
A question for Fedotov, though, is his lack of international experience. Throughout his career, he was unable to crack the Russian national teams, limiting his ability to showcase his talents to a broader audience. This shouldn’t be held against him, of course, but those showcase events could have gone a long ways to moving him up draft boards.
With a clear path to the KHL in the coming years, though, Fedotov not only has a skillset that NHL general managers look for, but is in a great position to develop his game into a dominant force.
Other THW Draft Profiles:
Ilya Fedotov – NHL Draft Projection
As a top-flight offensive talent, Fedotov should be a near lock to be selected at the 2021 NHL Draft. Given his intangibles and strong resume playing in the MHL, I would expect him to hear his name called around the early fourth-round. He could be selected in the third-round, but given a few questions surrounding his overall body of work, that seems less likely.
He plays with a nonstop motor and anticipates extremely well, which in turn presents him with multiple opportunities per game to isolate defenders and exploit weaknesses in their mobility. Quiet postseason notwithstanding, Fedotov had an excellent draft-year campaign and even showed a physical side when opponents tried to limit his speed and creativity.Steve Kournianos – thedraftanalyst.com
His shot is easily his best asset, as he has good mechanics with both his wrist shot and slap shot, and he really puts a lot of heat on them.Derek Neumeier – (From Ilya Fedotov Game Report, FCHockey, May 31, 2021)
- Incredible scoring instincts
- Top-flight shot
- NHL-caliber frame
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
While he may have a top-flight offensive toolkit, Fedotov will need to improve his strength and conditioning before he makes the jump to NHL or even the KHL. Right now, he has trouble consistently winning puck battles due to this lack of strength on the puck.
There’s a lot to like about Fedotov. With his high-end offensive instincts, he has the toolkit to develop into a top-six scoring forward, who takes on a role on the powerplay as well. However, he also strikes me as the kind of player that will either be a scoring force in the NHL or will be unable to break into the league as his skill set doesn’t really translate to a bottom-six role.
Risk – 4/5, Reward – 5/5
Fedotov is the ultimate boom or bust prospect. At best, he has top-line potential from a fourth to fifth-round pick. At worst, he never manages to find his role in the NHL and quickly leaves the league to play in Russia.
However, his toolkit will be highly appealing to general managers. You can improve strength and conditioning, after all, but you can’t teach raw offensive skill.
Ilya Fedotov Statistics
Eugene Helfrick is a Tampa Bay Lightning writer who is actually from Tampa Bay. He has written about the Lightning for six years, covering everything from their run to the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, to their crushing first-round exit in 2019, to their redemption in the bubble in 2020. While he is happy to talk about just about anything from cows to cars to video games, hockey will always remain one of his favorite pastimes.