With their final selection in the 2018 NHL Draft (211th overall), the Toronto Maple Leafs have selected Russian right winger Semyon Kizimov of Ladia Togliatti.

A 6’0, 176-pound left shot who prefers his off wing, the 18-year-old Kizimov tallied 18 points in 30 games in the Russian junior league (MHL) this past season and also recorded three points in three games at the U18 tournament for Team Russia.

For a full list of today’s picks, see here.

Semyon Kizimov Scouting Report

Courtesy of the 2018 NHL Draft Blackbook

Semyon Kizimov put up decent point production on Ladia Togliatti in the MHL, finishing with 18 points in 30 games including 12 assists. He also played internationally for Russia by competing in the U19-World Junior A challenge, U18- Five-Nations and the U18 World Junior championships where he finished with 3 points in 3 games while playing in a depth-role.

Kizimov is a mid-sized, yet talented offensive-winger who has great puck skills, allowing him a high-degree of creativity which gives him a lot of flair when the puck is on his stick. He’s a deceptive player who is difficult for defenses to read. His deception is created through his excellent set of hands which gives him a lot of moves. This makes him a dangerous player in one-on-one situations or off the rush. He also uses his move-set to complement the fakes he uses, such as turning his head towards the net to fake a shot before chipping a backhand saucer pass over his opponents stick to his teammate.

Another good attribute that Kizimov has is his vision. When he’s using his hands to evade incoming sticks or checks he’s usually assessing his passing options and processes the play quickly, which allows him to make some really difficult set-ups look relatively easy.  Semyon possesses an above average release point and it has a good amount of accuracy, though he prefers the passing option if it’s available to him from our viewings.

Arguably, the weakest aspect of his offensive-game is his positioning away from the puck. He rarely finds soft-ice so that he can be set-up by his teammates, though he does possess a skillset that allows him to create scoring chances for himself. What makes his mental-game unique, is that even though he lacks offensive-awareness without the puck on his stick, he actually has shown plus awareness when in possession of the puck. He’s good at recognizing the time and space he has to make a play in most games and he’s shown a good level of patience and poise under pressure due to his puck-skills. The last thing to mention about his offensive-game is that he’s more than willing to take the puck directly to the net or cut across high-traffic areas to increase his scoring chances.

Although he comes across at first glance at a finesse oriented player, he can play physical as well. This is notable during board battles where he’s capable of throwing his weight around. His defensive-game has developed throughout the season due to getting quality penalty-killing minutes against top competition while playing for Russia. He’s got above average defensive-reads and can intercept neutral zone passes before turning it back up ice.

Even with an impressive skillset he has some glaring issues that are holding him back in our rankings. His skating technique doesn’t allow him to have much in the way of top-end speed, his stride is choppy and he doesn’t have a deep knee bend resulting in a sluggish top-gear, though his edges are above average which helps him when he’s cutting to the
net. Also, his motor is average, he’s not a tenacious player by any stretch and this has caused him to look invisible on the ice at times.

Kizimov is a prospect who needs to learn how to transform his flashes of high-end skill into more consistent play and continue to improve his skating mechanics in order to become a quality winger at the pro levels.

Semyon Kizimov Statistics

Date of Birth: Jan 19, 2000
Age: 18
Place of Birth: Togliatti, RUS
Position: RW
Height: 6'0" / 182 cm
Weight: 176 lbs / 80 kg
Shoots: L
Contract: 19/20

2014-15Lada Togliatti U16Russia U1630114
2015-16Lada Togliatti U16Russia U16145101551
Lada Togliatti U17Russia U18814510
2016-17Lada Togliatti U17Russia U171068146
Lada Togliatti U18Russia U1875386
Ladia TogliattiMHL38235200
2017-18Ladia TogliattiMHL306121832-5
Russia U18WJC-18321300
Russia U18 (all)International-Jr17561122
2018-19Ladia TogliattiMHL-----
Lada TogliattiVHL-----