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Monday, June 20, 2011

Nikita Kucherov vs Alexander Khokhlachev

2011 NHL Draft prospects Nikita Kucherov and Alexander Khokhlachev are about the same size (5'10.5", 171lbs vs 5'10", 183lbs) and born the same year (1993). Both are offensive forwards from Russia that play an NHL style game (go to the net / nose for the net). However, its difficult to compare Kucherov and Khokhlachev based on the this season's numbers since they played in different junior leagues, one in Russia the other in Canada.
Kuch CSKA - MHL 41GP 27 31 58 81PIM
Koke Windsr-OHL 67GP 34 42 76 28PIM

However, before Khokhlachev went off to play in the OHL, he played a year in the MHL. Kucherov also played that same year in the MHL. These numbers do serve as a true basis for comparison. Here they are:

Kuch CSKA - MHL 53GP 29 25 54 40PIM
Koke Spartk-MHL 51GP 15 25 40 22PIM
Kuch delta = 2GP 14 EV 14 18PIM

Based on those numbers and from what I know about each player, I'd say Kucherov has the higher ceiling then his countryman. And given both have developed nicely this season, there is just as much of a chance that Kucherov reaches his ceiling as there is that Khokhlachev reaches his.

Knowing this, I would say Kucherov is under rated in TSN's rankings at 56, considering Khokhlachev sits at 44 in those same rankings. That's the KHL (aka "Russian") factor at play.

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