2015-16 Team: Erie Otters (#9)
Date of birth: 3/10/1998
Place of birth: Hamilton, Ontario
Ht: 5’9″ Wt: 174
Position: Left Wing
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2016 1st year eligible
- Central Scouting NA skaters: 111
Maksimovich Quietly Providing Depth Scoring
When you first think of the Erie Otters, many names come to mind. Dylan Strome, Alex DeBrincat, Taylor Raddysh, Devin Williams, Travis Dermott, just to name a few. There’s another player on the Otters that’s doing great things, but doesn’t get near the recognition the top guys do. That player is Kyle Maksimovich.
In his second season with the Otters, Maksimovich has taken his game to a new level. He has produced more than a point per game this season primarily playing on the second line, although he’s played on all four lines at some point. He has 27 goals and 68 points while playing in all 65 games. He also has six game-winning goals and is a +24. He has the kind of game that can fit on any line.
— Kathryn Jean (@msconduct) January 4, 2016
The first thing you will notice about Maksimovich is that he’s undersized at just 5-foot-9. That hasn’t stopped him from playing at a high level. He uses his smaller frame to his advantage, by skating around big men and finding openings in the defense. Not only can he get open, he can get his teammates open with his passing. Check out the pass he makes to Nick Betz in the video linked below.
Maksimovich, much like DeBrincat, plays fearless. He isn’t afraid to play the body and will challenge bigger players in doing so. So when the team asks him to play a bottom-six role, sometimes while double shifting, he can do so with relative ease. He also plays on the Otters top power play unit. However, he doesn’t kill penalties.
Maksimovich is a streaky player. He can get you goals in bunches, or can go long stretches without scoring. It really depends on what the team is asking him to do. He has an above average shot when on target, but can get wild on occasion. His defensive game has struggled at times, mainly because of his undersized frame. This has improved during the season, but is still a work in progress.
NHL Draft Projection:
Maksimovich is likely a late-round pick if drafted at all. He is your classic case of if he had more size, he’d go higher in the draft. At 5-foot-9, he certainly can play at the next level. But can he consistently play against the league’s best who are bigger and stronger? That said, he’s doing just fine for himself in the OHL. Don’t let his size scare you off. He has enough skill to compensate for that.
The first thing that will come to mind for the fandom is the size. Admittedly, at 5’9” Maksimovich is undersized. But despite the size, he has no fear of going into the corners to battle, nor does he shy away from going to the net. He also plays with a high level of energy and hard to contain.-Dominic Tiano (OHL Writers)It’s not just (Nick) Betz. RW Taylor Raddysh and LW Kyle Maksimovich help carry the offensive load (for the Erie Otters.)-Steve Kournianos (The Draft Analyst)Kyle makes up for a lack of size with a knack for anticipating plays well, and a fearlessness that allows him to play well in traffic. His offensive game certainly has made strides this year. Now he needs to continue improving on the defensive end of the ice.-Victor Fernandes (Erie Otters Beat Writer)
Under Construction (Improvements to Make):
As long as his defensive play continues to improve, Maksimovich could become a reliable two-way forward who can contribute in many areas. His skating and shot-making ability remind me a lot of Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson, who is the same height as Maksimovich. Ideally, Maksimovich is a middle-to-bottom six winger who will battle and find ways to get open for his shot.
NHL player comparison: Jiri Hudler
Risk = 3.5/5 Reward = 2.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential:
Offensive = 6/10 Defensive = 4/10
- 2013-2014 OHL Gold Cup Silver Medalist
- 2013-2014 OHL Cup Gold Medalist
Shots From the Slot:
When Maksimovich is not playing hockey, he excels in the classroom. He finished his junior year with a perfect 4.0 GPA and is doing much the same in his senior year. He tries to model his game after Flames star Johnny Gaudreau.