by Eldon MacDonald (edited by @ChrisRalphTHW)
THW’s NHL Draft Rankings – The Next Ones Edition (aka Chris’s List): #21 (March 2014)
- Hashtag: #MrOnTheSpot
- Nickname: Scherby
- Team: #27, Saskatoon, WHL
- Position: Right Wing
- Shoots: Left
- Height: 6’2
- Weight: 174 lb.
- Born: Moscow, Russia, 30-Dec-95
- Twitter A/C: @neketos22
- 10 – HockeyProspect.com, Feb-14
- 18 – NHL Combined – Final, Apr-14
- 21 – Craig Button, Mar-14
- 21 – Bob MacKenzie, Jan-14
- 25 – ISS, Apr-14
— Saskatoon Blades (@BladesHockey) February 24, 2014
#25 Nikita Scherbak @neketos22
Strong mix of puck protect & smooth hands on net drive. Plays & thinks at a high pace.
— ISS Hockey (@ISShockey) May 10, 2014
BLADES FACT: @neketos22 will become the 1st Blades rookie to lead the team in scoring since Garrett Prosofsky did so with 65 pts in 1996-97.
— Saskatoon Blades (@BladesHockey) March 12, 2014
10 – Now at 10, @bladeshockey Nikita Scherbak has the WHL's longest rookie assist streak since Dimitri Nabokov's 12'er in 96-97 (reg season)
— WHL Facts (@WHLFacts) February 26, 2014
Contains All the Prospects Profiled in This Series]
- Profile 1: Flames.NHL.com– Mike G. Morreale
- Profile 2: TheStarPhoenix.com– Daniel Nugent-Bowman
- Profile 3:
— Christian Roatis (@croatis) February 22, 2014
- Quote 1: Saskatoon Blades Coach Dave Struch at NHL.com, “The best thing about him is that he’s very coachable and teachable. Because he can skate he can get on the puck. But when he’s not on it right away he’s not afraid to make or take a hit. When you’ve got that part of a game from a Russian player it’s exciting.”
- Quote 2: Future Considerations WHL head scout Zenon Herasymiuk at FutureConsiderations.ca, “Scherbak is a rangy forward with a very long stride that allows him to burn up ice, with good agility and acceleration. He’s showed good hands and on a few occasions is able to mesmerize opponents with some dazzling puck plays and has no problem handling the puck under pressure. While not really a gritty player, he will get his nose dirty if necessary and shows a willingness to go to the dirty areas when called upon.”
From the War Room
Eldon MacDonald, THW: A few words on Nikita Scherbak:
- Mr. On The Spot – The most impressive thing about Nikita for me is that he always seems to be in the right spot to shoot or make a play. What was it Wayne Gretkzy once said? “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.”
- Offensive skills – High end offensive skills abound with this guy, the hands to make slick passing plays, the skating with the mobility and agility to elude defenders, a very effective shot with a pro release plus the vision to make maximum use of his physical skills.
- Adaption to North America – Nikita has shown a remarkable adaption to North America both on and off the ice. Not proficient in English at first, he is now able to joke with his teammates in English. On the ice, he quickly adapted to the small surface and showed he was just as capable of playing in the dirty areas as anyone else.
- Skills to develop – His defense is still in the developmental stage but his willingness to go to where the weak dare to tread bodes well for his development in this area. He also needs to add some weight and strength as he is only 174 lb. on a 6’2 frame. Given his adaptability and coachability, this is a guy whose future can only be described as “up”.
- Draft placement – Most of his rankings are clustered in the low 20’s. However, a player at 6’2 with high-end offensive skills in a draft with many small players could go quite a bit higher. I don’t think the Russian factor will be much of an issue with this guy as he seems to have the right attitude about playing in North America.
- Video 3:WHL.ca – CHL Top Prospects Game Profile
Chris is THW’s senior draft/prospect analyst and a Managing Editor. Watch for “The Next Ones” Prospect Profile series, exclusive rankings, mock drafts, as well as the annual THW NHL Entry Draft Guide. Follow @ChrisRalphYQ on Twitter as he infiltrates, dissects and analyzes all happenings of hockey prospects and the NHL entry draft. Email: cralph[at]thehockeywriters[dot]com