2021-22 Team: Soo Greyhounds (OHL)
Date of Birth: Feb 5, 2004
Place of Birth: Yaroslavl, Russia
Height: 5-foot-11, Weight: 185 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: First Year Eligible
- NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters): 108th
- Draft Prospects Hockey: 145th
- EliteProspects.com: 104th
- TSN/Craig Button: 89th
Kirill Kudryavtsev is a two-way defender with tons of skill. He played his first season of North American hockey this season as a member of the Ontario Hockey League’s (OHL) Soo Greyhounds, where he scored an impressive 39 points in 68 games. In 2020-21, Kudryavtsev found moderate success in the top Russian junior league (MHL), but his decision to move to a new continent was likely the best choice he could have made to improve his draft stock.
At this point, it seems likely that many Russian prospects will slide down the draft boards through no fault of their own. Kudryavtsev will surely be one of them. He has not received all that much attention in the lead-up to July 7, but another great season in the OHL in 2022-23 would make a lot of teams regret passing on him.
Related: 2022 NHL Draft Guide
Kudryavtsev has the patience and maturity to let the game come to him rather than trying to force his will on it too often. One common criticism about him, similar to what Shane Wright receives, is that he is good at everything but exceptional at nothing. Kudryavtsev is reliable defensively with an advanced ability to block shots, and he is also a consistent presence offensively, where he makes safe, smart passes with accuracy.
He also provides good support on both the power play and the penalty kill, a level of versatility that makes him a workhorse defender who plays a ton of minutes. He has a good shot from the point, with serious power on both his wrist shot and slap shot, though his accuracy could use some work.
Kudryavtsev is also a good but not great skater. He is smooth with a respectable top speed that allows him to participate in plays off the rush and also to retreat to his own end to make a defensive stop.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Kirill Kudryavtsev – NHL Draft Projection
He may have been in the shadow of another Russian defender playing in the OHL, Pavel Mintyukov, but Kudryavtsev is a solid defensive prospect in his own right. Though the NHL’s Central Scouting has him ranked quite low (108th NA Skater likely predicts the fifth round or later), I anticipate that he will be drafted in the fourth round of the 2022 Draft, roughly around pick 100.
“Kudryavstev is a smooth-skating blueliner who shows flashes of promising offensive skill and has the speed to jump into the offense without giving up too much on the defensive side. A well-rounded defender, he shows some confidence carrying the puck out of his own end and making efficient plays out of pressure situations.” – Joseph Aleong, FCHockey
“He’s a player that has an impact on all areas of the ice, whether defending or creating offence, and his decision-making and skating ability allow him to make a difference on each shift.” – Kyle Raftis, Soo Greyhounds General Manager
- Smooth skating
- Powerful shot
- Smart playmaking
- Special teams
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- No exceptional skills
- Shot accuracy
If he can show a bit more of his offensive potential over the next season or two in the OHL, I believe that Kudryavtsev could be a low-end top-four defender in the NHL who plays on the second power-play unit. If the offense doesn’t improve, then he will likely be a depth defender who is excellent in the AHL but not quite skilled enough for a full-time NHL role.
Risk – 3/5, Reward 3.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 7/10. Defense – 7/10
- 2021-22 Hlinka Gretzky Cup Gold Medal
Logan is a sports writer for the Detroit Red Wings as a member of The Hockey Writers team. He loves reading about statistics and advanced analytics, and discovering how they can enrich his hockey analysis and writing. Logan also writes about more general hockey topics on his blog https://www.crashthecrease.blog.