2021-22 Team: Bars Kazan / Supreme Hockey League (VHL)
Date of Birth: June 11th, 2003
Place of Birth: Orsk, Russia
Ht: 6-foot-1 Wt: 176 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2022 eligible
- NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings: 4th (among EU Goaltenders)
- Recruit Scouting: 213th
- Corey Pronman – The Athletic: 183rd
For a raw goaltending prospect like Maxim Arefyev, the 2022 NHL Draft class could be a bit of a blessing. Overall, his play and statistics were mixed for the 2021-22 season, as he got absolutely shelled in net playing behind a mediocre Sakhalinskye Akuly team of the Russian Junior Hockey League (MHL). So, this led him to have a solid save percentage of .916 while only posting a record of 11-30-1.
Related: THW’s 2022 NHL Draft Guide
To put it simply, Arefyev needs a lot of time to develop before he will become a legitimate NHL threat. He has a solid toolkit but doesn’t always know how to utilize it properly. He fights the puck at times, which can cause him to lose it entirely. However, he moves well in his net, can control the puck well when he sees it and has the size that scouts love in a goaltending prospect right now.
All this means that Arefyev is a very raw prospect, but he has a toolkit that could draw enough attention to hear his name called in the later rounds of the draft. In a deeper class, he may have been overlooked, but given the group he’s competing against, he has enough positives to outmatch a few of his fellow goaltenders.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Maxim Arefyev – NHL Draft Projection
Despite being underdeveloped, the 2022 goaltending class is relatively weak, which leaves the door open for a player like Arefyev to hear their name called.
This means that he could be selected as a late-round flyer by a team who likes his toolkit and believes they can stash him in the Supreme Hockey League (VHL) and eventually see him develop into a Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) player. So, while it’s likely that he could get skipped over, it’s also possible that he could be a late sixth or seventh-round pick in 2022.
Arefyev plays at the top of his crease and works to look around or over traffic. Has excellent rebound control with down low as he uses his stick well to direct rebounds to the corners. He has decent side-to-side quickness but can get a bit out of control sliding around his crease.Kellen Eyre (From Maxim Arefyev Game Report, FCHockey, Mar. 7, 2021)
He faced a high amount of shots last season and had a very good save percentage because of it. Maxim Arefyev can be a good goalie one day, but Arefyev needs to clean up his rebound control though.Glenn Kaplan – e2gsports.com
- NHL Size
- Solid rebound control
- Good net movement
Under Construction- Improvements to Make
Arfyev is just a raw prospect, who will need a lot more time to develop his game.
Projecting goaltenders is always hard. They take the longest to develop, and often won’t make their mark in the league until five-plus years after they are selected. Arefyev fits this description, as he will take many years before he is able to make an impact for the team that drafts him.
However, he has the toolkit to be at least an AHL starter, but trying to project him past that is hard. It wouldn’t be impossible to see him take that next step in the VHL, however, and quickly raise his stock. The real question will be whether or not he decides to make the jump to the AHL down the road or just continue to play in his home country.
Risk- Reward Analysis
Risk- 1/5, Reward 2/5
Maxim Arefyev 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.