Nikita Lyamkin THW Close-Up:
Date of birth: 2/6/1996
Place of birth: Barnaul, Russia
Ht: 6’3″ Wt: 165 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2014
THW The Next Ones Rankings (January 2014): 116
THW War Room Rankings (April): not ranked
Future Considerations: not ranked
Craig Button: not ranked
CS Final Rankings for North American skaters: not ranked
It’s not secret the NHL is the best hockey league in the world. Russians of years past weren’t quite sure of it and would spend some time playing in the KHL before trying to make the move to North America. Now we are seeing more and more Russian players coming over to play juniors and get accustomed to the North American style of play. Nikita Lyamkin is one of those players.
A smooth skating big man, Lyamkin has transitioned nicely in the QMJHL with the Chicoutimi Sagueneens. He plays a great physical game and handles the puck well in the defensive zone. He doesn’t let pressure affect his game and is a battler along the boards and in front of the net. It’s tough to beat him given his reach and the way he excels at pushing forwards to the outside.
Right now, it’s just a matter of taking it slow, getting more accustomed to the style of play, and bulking up. He only weighs in at 165 lbs, so at 6’3″ he’s very lanky. When he adds muscle, he will be a key cog on any blueline if he reaches his potential.
Where Will He End Up In June:
Heading into the season, many thought Lyamkin would be a 2nd or 3rd round pick, however he will be available in the later rounds of the draft..
“Nikita has excellent size and displays an exceptional level of hockey sense. He is extremely strong positionally and always seems to be in the right place on the ice. He is a strong skater with good mobility allowing him to match up against forwards very well one on one. He rarely if ever gets beat. Nikita shows a willingness to battle along the wall with a nastiness in his game. He won the majority of battles, he will win even more as he gets stronger within his big frame.“
“At 6-foot-3 and 180 pounds, he is a smart, physical defender who keeps it simple with the puck and simply wins battles in his own end. A tournament all-star at last year’s under-17s, the Russian projects as a rock-solid shutdown defender who can put up big minutes.
He’ll likely never be a big point producer, but he is a good skater and teams can never have too many quality defencemen. Look for him to go late in the second or early in the third round.”
Jamie Neugebauer – Sportsnet
Lyamkin has played for Team Russia four different times and has won two silver medals
Risk: 3/5 Reward: 3/5
2nd or 3rd pairing physical defenseman
Battles along the boards
Flaws/Aspects He Needs To Work On:
Adding power to his shot
He’s very lanky so he’ll need to hit the gym in the offseason
Fantasy Hockey Potential:
Offensive: 3/10 Defensive: 7/10
NHL Player Comparison:
– NHL comparison: Fedor Tyutin
THW’s The Next Ones prospect profile template design architect: Chris Ralph