2019-20 Team: Loko Yaroslavl – MHL
Date of Birth: Oct. 12, 2001
Place of Birth: Chita, Russia
Ht: 6-foot-2 Wt: 201 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2020 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 23rd (among EU Skaters)
- Josh Bell’s February Rankings: 124th
- Larry Fisher’s Top 400 for May: 206th
- Andrew Forbes Top 217 for March: 210th
- DobberProspects 2020 European Draft Rankings: 43rd
As a somewhat unknown 18-year-old with a prototypical power forward build, Maxim Beryozkin did a lot of work throughout the 2019-20 season to raise his draft stock. While playing for Loko Yaroslavl of the MHL, he posted an outstanding 25 goals and 54 points, some of the best scoring totals in the entire league.
Related: 2020 NHL Draft Guide
Even if he is lacking the international playing time with team Russia that some of his fellow Russian power forward prospects have, Beryozkin’s strong season has put him on the draft board for many teams. With a clear path to play in the KHL with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in the future, he could be in a great spot to develop his game against men before attempting to break into the NHL.
Other THW Draft Profiles:
Maxim Beryozkin – NHL Draft Projection
Like many of the power forwards at the 2020 NHL draft, Beryozkin’s stock is all over the board. Some see him as a mid-to-late third-round pick, while others believe he could go undrafted this year, as teams wait to see if his strong year was just a one-off or a sign of his true potential.
Given his size and scoring ability, it seems unlikely that Beryozkin goes undrafted. However, I could see him falling as far as the late-fifth or even early sixth round before hearing his name called. If he somehow falls to the seventh, then he could be that NHL starter that everyone looks back on and wonders ‘how was he overlooked?’
Statistically speaking, the numbers from his second full MHL season are beyond impressive. Beryozkin finished the regular season as the league leader among first-year draft eligibles with 25 goals and his 1.06 points-per-game average was second only to Rodion Amirov.Ross Martin – thedraftanalysis.com
Can’t call Beryozkin a very good skater, but he is able to create goal-scoring chances almost out of nothing when receiving the puck in the attacking zone is quite impressive, big body also helps here.Russian Prospects – Doberprospects.com
With his large frame and wicked shot, Beryozkin boasts the profile of a classic scoring power-forward, but he could use his size to play more of a physical game.National World HQ – Oilersnation.com
- Fantastic hands and ability for a player of his size
- Great hockey IQ
- Creative with the puck, and has the scoring touch to cash out opportunities
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Skating is below average
- Overall defensive game needs to improve
- Not the best at using his size
With great size and scoring ability, Beryozkin has the toolkit of an NHL-caliber power forward. While he will need time to develop his game against men in the KHL, he could very well break onto a roster in a handful of years.
The one caveat here is skating. Right now, many see Beryozkin’s skating as his weakest attribute. If that doesn’t see big improvements, it may keep him from playing in the NHL, even in just a limited fourth-line role.
Risk – 3/5, Reward – 3/5
If Beryozkin ends up being selected in the early-to-mid third round, then that would likely set expectations far out of line for where he is currently at in his development. While he could continue to excel, he would likely be a safer pick in the later fourth to sixth round (in the THW mock draft, the Detroit Red Wings drafted him with the first pick of the sixth round, which is fantastic value)
Related: THW 2020 Mock NHL Draft Rounds 3-7
Even if he ends up breaking into the NHL, however, Beryozkin’s upside may be limited to a bottom-six energy winger with scoring potential. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, as there’s always a place for that kind of player with every team.
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.