2015-16 Team: Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL)
Date of birth: May 08th, 1998
Place of birth: Chelyabinsk, Russia
Ht: 5’9″ Wt: 174 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2016 1st year eligible
THW The Next Ones Ranking (June): 10
- THW War Room Rankings: 27
- ISS: N/R
- Future Considerations: 24
- Bob Mckenzie (TSN): 51
- Craig Button (TSN): 23
- HockeyProspect.com: 29
- Pike’s Picks: 9
- Consensus: 27
A native of the hockey hotbed of Chelyabinsk, Abramov started playing in the Traktor system as a lot of other NHL prospects and players (Sergei Gonchar, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Artemi Panarin, Valeri Nichushkin, and many others). He played his whole career before crossing the Ocean within the Traktor system at the different levels of Russian hockey. He was also a prominent player for the national team of his age group. Many questioned his move to North America being concerned over his size, but in his first season in Gatineau he showed that he can not only play, but also do it effectively on small ice. Abramov features all the characteristics of Chelyabinsk-trained players: excellent skating, great hands, and an acute sense of the game.
While many NHL teams will be scared about his size (a mere 5’9″, 174 lbs.), he is too talented to be drafted outside of the first two rounds. Abramov made a lot of strides forward in the QMJHL and considering the exposure he had in North America it’s easy to imagine that many teams will be eager to call his name in spite of his size.
NHL Draft Projection:
Abramov’s stock has seen some ups and downs this season. He had incredible stats in the QMJHL and this certainly helps, but some teams will definitely prefer a less risky pick, drafting a player with maybe less talent, but with more sure potential. He is first round material.
The Russian import is a constant threat offensively and makes some impressive plays due to his high skill level. An explosive, well-timed speed burst or change of pace and shifty agility in his feet as well as creative hands make him a slippery forward to check. A skilled playmaker making seeing-eye passes through the tightest of lanes and in perfect time to his teammates. Will shoot the puck when the opportunity presents itself and usually hits his mark when he does but is a natural playmaker first and foremost. Extremely dynamic top line NHL potential.
A dynamic offensive player who possesses excellent vision and offensive creativity. Has a wide array of moves, dekes and toe-drags with explosive acceleration and a high-end top gear.
Small but incredibly agile, Abramov was incredible in his first year in North America, averaging nearly 1.5 points per game with Gatineau. Has excellent puck skills.
Ryan Wagman, Hockey Prospectus
- A great skater
- Great nose for the net
- Fast shot
- Great vision of the ice
Under Construction (Improvements to Make):
- Defensive game, to some extent
In the latest few years the NHL seen a lot of undersized players getting more and more success, therefore it should be expected to be the same for Abramov, who has all the chances to become a first line player even at NHL level.
Risk = 3.5/5 Reward = 5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential:
Offensive = 8.5/10 Defensive = 5.5/10
- 2014-2015 EYOF Gold Medal
- 2014-2015 U17 WHC Gold Medal
- 2015-2016 QMJHL Rookie of the Year
- 2015-2016 QMJHL All-Rookie Team
Vitali Abramov and Yakov Trenin were teammates already in Chelyabinsk. The two played many games together even if Abramov is one year younger.
THW’s The Next Ones prospect profile template design architect: Chris Ralph
A professional hockey writer and translator. Loves Russian culture, language, and hockey. Reachable on twitter @AlexSerenRosso