For Bo Yakimov, the KHL season has been both a huge jump in quality and a major confidence boost. Although he’s playing at a much higher level than a year ago, Yakimov is having success, and that is a positive arrow for his NHL future. It also bodes well for the big draft day trade that involved six picks. So far, so good for the Oiler side.
The deal went down like this: Edmonton traded #37 overall to Los Angeles (Valentin Zykov) for #57 overall (which was then traded to St. Louis), #88 (Anton Slepyshev) and #96 (Kyle Platzer). The 57th selection being dealt meant Edmonton also added #83 (Bogdan Yakimov), #94 (Jackson Houck) and #113 (Aidan Muir) to their summer loot.
Here’s how it’s working out so far.
- Valentin Zykov (QMJHL) 7, 4-5-9 (1.29)
- Bogdan Yakimov (KHL) 10, 2-4-6 (.600)
- Anton Slepyshev (KHL) 7, 0-0-0 (.000)
- Jackson Houck (WHL) 6, 1-0-1 (.167)
- Kyle Platzer (OHL) 6, 4-2-6 (1.00)
- Aidan Muir (USHL) 5, 1-2-3 (.600)
The reason Edmonton made the deal in the first place (it was actually two deals) is that their scouting people were saying there was exceptional value outside the first two rounds–it was a deep, strong draft in 2013. Edmonton chose to give up an early 2nd round selection in favor of two late 3rd rounders, two early 4ths and a late 4th round pick.
In a normal season, this probably doesn’t give you outstanding value, but armed with what his scouting and Math people were telling him, MacT decided to roll the dice.
HOW DOES IT LOOK SO FAR?
It’s important to remember we’re early days here (only 1 player has been in 10gp this season) but it does look good for the Oilers. Yakimov has been a revelation, playing in the tough KHL and scoring at a very nice rate/per game. Kyle Platzer had a nice start to the season and is on an impressive run, but returning juniors may rob him of valuable ice time (London is loaded). Still he performed well when given the opportunity. Slepyshev and Houck have strugged, and it’s tough to say how well Muir is going (those stats are okay, but not world breaking).
On the other hand, Zykov has some very interesting things going on for him during his QMJHL season. Although the numbers above are good not great, he’s averaging about 6 (41 in 7 games) shots a game–that’s an impressive total, easily inside the QMJHL’s top 5.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
This is very early. Zykov looks like a very nice value and Yakimov is having a very nice start to his KHL career and that’s a surprise (he’s still a kid). If there is a value gap between Zykov and Yakimov, is that value made up by the potential careers of the others?
This isn’t a black and white answer, and it shouldn’t be this soon into the process. It’s certainly a story worth keeping track of over the next several years.