Call me crazy but I’ll take it: The KHL season is underway and Oilers’ prospect Ziyat Paigin got into action for AK Bars earlier today. Music! Skates, pucks, nets, yelling at referees, bad coffee, GOD I wish I’d been there.
In today’s game, Paigin played 12:19 on 20 shifts and didn’t play much (three minutes) in the third period. Still, he’s among the starting seven and his 12 minutes today is a considerable upgrade over his average of one year ago (nine minutes).
Paigin is a fascinating prospect for lots of reasons, including size—6.06, 210—and the ability to play defense. He’s 20, has some developing to do but you can’t teach size and the Oilers need badly to load up on people who can play defense.
ISS: Paigin’s upside is based around his raw frame
and active, intense defensive game. Long active stick and angles well,
needs to focus on foot speed and mobility which will benefit when he
adds muscle to his massive frame. Thrives in physical play,
likes to finish hits and mix it up along the wall. Can be beat wide by
quick opposition forwards catching him on the pivot. Decent skill-set on
the puck, although at his best when he simplifies his game.
Roman Horak, who I believe remains Oilers property, gets his first start tomorrow.