Ivan Barbashev THW Close-Up:
Date of birth: 12/14/1995
Place of birth: Moscow, RUS
Ht: 6’0″ Wt: 181 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2014
THW The Next Ones Rankings (January 2014): 16
THW War Room Rankings (April): 15
Craig Button: 16
With the exception of his last name, Ivan Barbashev is far from your prototypical Russian player. He has the finesse in his stickwork and puckhandling like many Russians, but he battles and plays defense unlike many Russians. He’s blended the best of both worlds – Russian skill with North American grit.
Coming from Europe, Barbashev was looked to be another Russian sniper for the Moncton Wildcats, but his minutes started to get cut, he was moved from his accustomed left wing spot to center, he found himself on the 3rd line, and his coach was asking him to play a more defensive role for the team. While a majority of young Russian players wouldn’t take kindly to this and take the first trip back to the Motherland, Barbashev took it in stride and viewed it as a challenge. He’s been a brilliant two-way player since.
Barbashev uses his body effectively to shield the puck from defenders and can create space for himself. His positioning has improved over the season and he seems to know where to be with and without the puck. He’s a battler all around the ice and will use his body and speed to lay some heavy hits when needed. But let’s not forget what makes Barbashev such a prominent draft pick – his offensive skills.
With his size and strong lower body, he has explosive quickness and acceleration. A nifty stickhandler, Barbashev seems to have the puck on a string when it’s on his stick. He scored 25 goals this season for Moncton with his deadly wrist shot. A creative player with very little flaws to his game, Barbashev has a lot of potential to be either a perennial scorer or a two-way forward.
Where Will He End Up In June:
Barbashev might be fall a bit more than expected come draft day, but he should be a top 20 pick. Assuming he drops out of the top 20, there will be one NHL that will be getting an immensely talented player later in the first round.
“Barbashev is a skilled playmaking winger with impressive vision and passing ability. He thrives in a high-paced offense. Has a good, hard shot and isn’t transparent about making a pass or firing it on net. Has dynamic talent but inconsistent in his efforts. (August 2013)”
Aaron Vickers – Future Considerations
“Big things were expected from Barbashev after the Wildcats made him the first overall selection in the 2012 CHL Import Draft; and so far, it’s safe to say he has more than lived up to expectations. Barbashev was eased into the league last year and went on to become a point-per-game producer with 62 points in 68 games; a number that will surely increase in 2013-14. After starting out on the wing, Barbashev has also seen time as a centre and has responded well to the increased responsibility of the position. The 6-foot Moscow native won’t blow you away with his size, but his compete level and grit is refreshing and bodes well for his NHL hopes. With an above average skill level across the board, Barbashev projects nicely as surefire NHL player who should be at worst case a third line type player.”
“Ivan Barbashev is a pure sniper, he has a great arsenal of shots with a terrific wrister, slapshot, snapshot, backhand and one-timer. These shots also feature an excellent release which can fool goalkeepers and the puck will be in the back of the net before he knows it. Barbashev also has good stickhandling skills, and the creativity and vision to make passes which surprise opponents and set up teammates for easy goals. When he doesn’t have the puck, he does a good job in finding open areas, and easy passing lanes for a teammate to get him the puck. He reads the play well and has a high hockey IQ.
Barbashev’s skating continues to improve. He has always had good top-end speed, but has really improved his first step quickness and acceleration as this season has gone on, adding a new dimension to his game. Barbashev has very good agility and combines this with his great stickhandling to elude defenders. His strength on the puck and balance have also really improved this year, and it seems that he has added a lot of core strength which makes him harder to knock off the puck.”
Ben Kerr – Last Word On Sports
Barbashev has played three times for Russia at the U17, U18, and U20 levels. In that time he’s won a bronze medal and a gold medal.
Risk: 1/5 Reward: 4/5
Can range from a top line sniper to a top-six playmaker
Puck control and how he uses his body
Vision all over the ice
Quick release and great shot speed
Speedy and fluid skater
Flaws/Aspects He Needs To Work On:
Work more on the defensive side of his game
Fantasy Hockey Potential:
Offensive: 9/10 Defensive: 6/10
NHL Player Comparison:
– NHL comparison: Vladimir Tarasenko
THW’s The Next Ones prospect profile template design architect: Chris Ralph
Follow Shawn on Twitter: @ShawnTHW
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