Russian Daniil Zharkov made an impression on Oiler fans shortly after Stu MacGregor’s scouting staff gave him the seal of approval. "It’s my goal to be better than Yak" he said on draft day. Zharkov was taken 90 spots behind Yakupov and started this season slowly; howver things are looking up.

Zharkov will be on your television this week–Thursday–in game 3 of the Subway Super Series. He’ll be representing the Russians and could end up playing with some superb skill players like Alexander Khokhlachev, Nail Yakupov and Mikhail Grigorenko. Despite his draft pedigree, Zharkov is a player who (should he fulfill promise) could end up on a skill line in the NHL. He was taken 91st overall, but was projected to go much higher in the draft (Bob McKenzie had him #48, Corey Pronman had him #28).

Zharkov is a big man (6.03, 212), has speed and good hands. That’s a winning combination in any era.


Zharkov scored 23 goals a year ago in the OHL, but was wildy inconsistent. Here are his scoring totals by month one season ago with Belleville:

  • November: 9, 7-4-11
  • December: 9, 8-0-8
  • January: 11, 0-3-3
  • February: 13: 5-5-10
  • March: 8, 3-1-4

Zharkov missed the early part of the season with a broken collarbone, but when he arrived in November started strongly. He scored a goal and added 4 assists playing for Russia at the world juniors and scored 1-2-3 in 6 playoff games for the Bulls.

This season, Zharkov began slowly, doing an about face compared to last fall. Here are his numbers by month so far:

  • September: 4, 0-2-2
  • October: 9, 4-0-4
  • November: 3, 2-0-2

If you add up all of his GP in the OHL (playoffs too) you get about one full season (72, 30-17-47). I think the Oilers should be excited about this player if he can score 30 goals this season, and he’s on track for 26 goals currently. He’ll need a hot streak or two, but has shown himself more than capable in that regard.


I have no idea why Daniil Zharkov fell in the draft and frankly don’t care. He had top 50 skill based on McKenzie and Pronman and with his size/speed/skill combo would be a Godsend for the Oilers future should he turn out. He’s tracking well, watch for him in Guelph on Thursday.

Oh, and one more thing: the kid says funny things (as we saw above at the beginning of this post) but he’s smart and has a good head on his shoulders. In this interview with Andrey Osadchenko Zharkov talked about Edmonton:

AO: What’s your first impression on Edmonton?

Good. Honestly, people recognize Yakupov and me on the streets. Obviously, they recognize him more than me. They talk to us, ask to get a picture and to sign stuff. It’s a beautiful city. I can honestly say that of all the towns I’ve been to in Canada, Edmonton attracts me the most.

  • 24% body fat

    Like the support for edmonton, but really it most appeals to you. He must like pot holes, old arenas, 5 useless airports, traffic jammed roads that are suppose to be freeways, driving 65 km in every direction to get to his home at the edge of a bedroom community, a top tiered canadian stadium in the middle of a bad area and no parking, an LRT system that seem to benefit 10% of the population and takes you only to downtown that has no life to it.

    Or maybe he likes the new unfinished allready needing construction ring road with a limit of 100km\h on it that took shortcuts and the cheap way out when it came to key interchanges such as st albert trail.

    I support Edmonton but man we have a lot of issues to fix.

    At least this kid says the right things. Hope he makes it.

    • book¡e

      People like yourself should stop complaining and move to another place where everything is made from candy and rainbows. Maybe you can ride a unicorn to work…

      • Time Travelling Sean

        If people stopped complaining, then things would never change. I have to agree with him on a lot of the issues he presented. Pot holes are just a way of life in northern canada, its the weather and it will never change. But the LRT, more effort should be put into it. How you don’t have it running to the West Edmonton Mall is mind blowing. How can you not have your LRT running to the biggest Icon in your City?????? Not to mention one of the highest traffic(individual person wise)areas in the City. Traffic would be reduced if more people had the option of taking the LRT and it made sense. Cutting corners seems to be the City’s Moto, anything to save some money. They will do it with a new Area if someone like Katz isn’t in on it to make sure everything is up to par.

        • yawto

          You and 2 girls can catch a ride to rainbow land together and hit all those pot holes and traffic along the way.

          Perhaps instead of writing a BS piece about the city you live in on an NHL blog – maybe you should think about writing a letter into somewhere useful and taking some initiative if you’re so concerned.


          Uncle Rick

        • longbottom/P.Biglow

          I really do wish People would remember where we live. While I am one that just moved back to Edmonton from living in small towns for the last 5-6 years. 1)Pot hole yes are a fact of life and a big reason that our road maitence budget is blown every year. 2) As much I hate to commend a city council that seems to waste money on many thing we tax payers can’t do anything about(23rd ave overpass, urban sprawling, Overpasses going to where????) they were the main reason a stagnant LRT(went from Clairview to Downtown for 20+ years) has gotten as far as it has and hopeully soon will cover the biggest area of Edmonton (Millwoods is what 300,000 people, that would be like the 4th largest city in Alberta).

          Back to Zarkov— I am really rooting for this kid to get it in the semi pro and NHL levels and becoming a contributing member of the Oilers for many years to come.

  • yawto

    lol no kidding, the way 2 girls no cups talks its like we live in the 3rd world…try tavelling your appreciation for Edmonton will grow immensly. Sure we aren’t Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, or Calgary…but we aren’t far off either.

    • book¡e

      So Edmontonians should be happy to compare themselves to what? Fort Mcmurray? Prince George?

      Edmonton is not close to any of the cities you listed above. Glad to see city council still loves pumping money into festivals that almost no one cares about.

        • book¡e

          Calgary has some nice things, but I consider it comparable to Edmonton. Calgary has a better LRT network, but lots of problems in their road network. Calgary has some good urban streets, but no Arts community to speak of. Edmonton’s arts community probably beats Vancouver’s never mind Calgary’s.

  • 24% body fat

    We are the only city in Canada over a million people that did not make forbes top 100 cities in the world. The report is based on cleanliness, quality of life, infrastructure, health care, education and others along that lines. Calgary was number 1.

    I like edmonton, and would never live anywhere else but we have a lot to do.

    How many cities run two airports of this size. Municiple is a waste of money. Sure there is a few jobs but where else could that money go that creates jobs. How many cities have airports that far out of town.

    Oh and that airport had a huge effect on downtown. Sure it originally brought in business but that is null now. All it does now is limit the height of the skyline.

    How many of you use the LRT. How many would like to use it. Even when it is done as planned you still have to go downtown first than to wherever else you want to go.

    Why does deerfoot have a speed of 110 and the much less busy and more open Henday has a 100 limit.

    Why is there no parking for Commonwealth stadium. One of the largest in the country, and when people try to help with that and make some more money for a poor area they are fined by the city.

    And Uncle Rick do you really think if Zharkov wasnt drafted by edmonton he would say it appealed most to him. When you go on vacation to the states do you go to Phoenix, NY, LA, Florida, Chicago, Las Vegas or do you go to Cleveland, Pittsburg, Flint.

    We are behind the other major cities and need to catch up, and it starts with a properly funded HOCKEY arena.

    • GVBlackhawk

      Can you link that Forbes article that states Calgary is #1. I’ve searched and cannot find it. The latest Forbes non-scientific study had Vienna at #1. Calgary was not on the list.

      I’m guessing that you threw that statement out there without any evidence.

  • 24% body fat

    Man you took the comments way too seriously. What does edmonton have that appeals highly to a teenager that could have been drafted and lived in 29 other cities is my point. Sorry if you are offended but these are issues edmonton has (calgary and vancouver have theirs also). But if you can not recognize these as issues the city has I hope to God you do not vote.

    It also relates to hockey in the fact that 99% of the city wants a new arena and believes the city needs it. Just no one wants to pay for it.

  • Klima's Mullet

    Remember that time that one guy wrote that hockey article about another guy and everyone commented about how awful or great that one city was.

    I hope this kid is on a line with Pitlick and Lander in two-three years in the show.

  • atleastwehavethekhl

    Hey, it could be a lot worse. I’m from Winnipeg, and I wouldn’t live there again for a million bucks.

    Of course, I wouldn’t live in Calgary for two million, but that’s just me.

  • Klima's Mullet

    The kid is big and has skills,lets see what happens,I like how he thinks,he realises everyone is human and sets his sights high.With his size and skill we will see how his expectations fit into an NHL game,I have high hopes.Size and skill are a highly sought after combonation.

    Last time I checked it was like putting a target on your chest to challenge the best producers,I love that this guy isnt afraid to speak his own name in the same sentence as Yakupov and anyone else on the ice.It all starts right there in your head,you need to believe you are an impact player to actually become one.I am closely watching for this guys name to pop up in the right places in the right ways,like it has here.

    I like a big player who skates well and is a natural at creating neutral zone interference and has a good stick,and is a takeaway machine–he is great at useing the long stick and reach and size in the right ways,the ability to consistantly take it to the net and terminate the play with a goal is important.Zharkov has high end speed and likes to get into position for the one-timer,that is something natural to him and something that is a desired NHL skill–especially on a team of elite passers,we have a lot of slick passers already,we need either zone entry specialists or finishers.He seems to be both in a super-sized package.

  • GVBlackhawk

    Ok, how many of you have lived in the cities you think are so great? To set the record straight. The Deerfoot spped limit is 100. I live thre I should know. We also dont plow residential streets, and the LRT here is no big bargain. Parking is the most expensive in the country, and guess what…we have pot holes. And the arts community is pathetic (but so is the hockey team). And lets not talk about the weather…the owrst, by far, in the country, unless you like cold smowy summers.

    I lived in vancouver. Drugs, rain, congestion, gangs are somewhat offset by water and mountains. Nice, but not great.

    Toronto…just work downtown and travel the 401 everyday to get to work. No thanks.

    Winnipeg. yep, lived there too. High taxes, cold winters, hot summers (that’s good), but mosquitos. Nice people though!

    I am from Edmonton, all my family still lives there, so I go back often. Believe me, it’s not a perfect city, but having lived in several cities in Canada (about 7 actually, including the NWT), Edmonton is just fine, and there is no utopia in Canada (ok, maybe Kelowna lol).

  • Time Travelling Sean

    Didn’t Nylander’s wife burst into tears when she thought he signed with us?

    Didn’t Pronger leave because his wife hated the shopping? And I know it was also for financial reasons but didn’t Gretzky also leave because of his wife?

  • Time Travelling Sean

    Well given that all the people you’ve mentioned are millionaires, ya I don’t blame them for not wanting to live in Edmonton, but for regular joes, Edmonton is a pretty good city. Give or take a billion, but probably 5 billion people would gladly trade you spots to live in Edmonton. Sure we aren’t the best in North America, but you are talking about literally the best cities in the world. There’s a lot of jobs, and if you can’t find work in town you can always try going up North. Those liveability surveys are bs, look at the numbers, where is everyone migrating to within Canada? Majority of people are moving out West.

  • How nice would it be to have him and Yak on the same line in a few years?

    Probably not going to happen, but then again, I thought I would get to watch NHL hockey sometime this year too……

    Zharkov and Reider are very interesting propects, and I think they make a bigger impact than Pitlick or Hamilton.

    I just like Russian snipers( especially ones with size) and Reider just seems to have to much “heart”.(like Lander, but with offence)

    Time will tell, but I, for one, have never been happier watching our prospect pool….

  • GVBlackhawk

    Rieder is german, not russian.

    I have never been to Edmonton, I live close to Winnipeg..and having been to Calgary twice over the last two years I gotta say that Calgary feels like a 1st world country and Winnipeg a third..2.5 since the jets came back lol

    The people in Calgary are a little strange (seen ripped body builders running around in cowboy hats, or douchbags pointing at my dog yelling “he’s a stud! he’s a stud!”),
    Lots of very gorgeous Latino women in Calgary though, but I assume all big cities have their latin flavour (winnipeg sure does)

    But if Edmonton is anything like Calgary it is I bet a pretty nice looking town..

    And you guys don’t know pot holes until you’ve been to a mexico-USA border town (mexico side) aint seen nothing yet.

  • The Oilers Shot Clock

    I enjoy his style of playing hockey, and think it is advantageous for him as a hockey player, that he in fact, plays hockey.i think his biggest asset is the fact that he has a stick and uses it to transition from offense to defense seamlessly while never forgetting where he came from.we might have a carbon based life from here.he is paying his dues by being over six feet tall and standing up.which is a fundamental if he hopes to fit in with the other young guns.if he continues to develop his low cycle game and incorporates a shooting/passing tendency into it.i think he will do well to play the game.

  • GVBlackhawk

    @ 2 girl No cups

    The speed limit on Deerfoot is 100, not 110. Also, my wife and I take the LRT daily to work. From the Century Park Station, right near our house straight to our respective workplaces downtown. Works great for us and is always full when we take it.

    If you can’t get the basic facts of your story straight, how is anyone supposed to take you even remotely seriously.

  • @ Doslugger

    You sound almost like a military brat with that many stops. However, I hear ya. I’ve also lived in Van, Edm, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and in Europe to name but a few. I like to think I have a pretty good idea about how cities rank against others.