This morning, the Oilers announced via their Twitter account that they have signed forward Ostap Safin to a three-year entry level contract.
In 56 games played with the Saint John Sea Dogs this season, his first in the QMJHL I should add, Safin has amassed 53 points (24G, 29A) which leads the team and 29 PIMs. Safin was also a representative for the Czech team at the World Juniors tournament where he was effective despite a limited role, producing three points (1G, 2A) in seven games played. Safin, a Prague native, stands at 6’5″ tall and instantly becomes one of the largest skilled prospects in the Oilers’ stable, and that makes him a prospect worth watching over the coming years or months.
From the Oilers’ side, it made sense for them to sign the
giant youngster as he is not only having an impressive season with the Sea Dogs but also because the cupboards are bare for skilled players in Bakersfield. That said, Safin still has another year of eligibility in junior and will likely head back to Saint John for his Draft +2 year where he will need to continue his progression and work to refine the finer points of his game. As it the case with many young players, Safin will need to improve his consistency and two-way game if he hopes to transition into professional hockey.
So who is Ostap Safin? Let Curtis Joe at Elite Prospects learn you a little something:
“A competitive, 200-foot player that can fit in a power or finesse role. Skates very well, with balance and noteworthy speed, and handles the puck with ease and control at top speeds. Displays a dangerously accurate shot that he is never hesitant to use; always a threat in the offensive zone. Uses his frame well, to protect the puck, as well as to impose physically upon the opposition. Defensively stable and actively cuts off passing and shooting lanes. Could be more creative, but is more of a straight-line player. Potential is that of a top six forward that can complement similarly high-caliber players.”
From everything I’ve seen and read, Safin has the toolbox and potential to make some noise but he’s going to have to stay committed to working on his game. All scouting reports label him as a skilled guy with excellent puck skills, but it’s much easier to get things done at the junior level when you’re towering over everyone else. Imagine being 16-years-old and going up against this behemoth. Ridiculous. How will that translate into the pro game? We’ll have to wait and see. Until then, we wish Ostap Safin congratulations on signing his first NHL contract. Well done, sir.
SAFIN’S CAREER SO FAR
|2017-18||Saint John Sea Dogs||QMJHL||56||24||29||53||29||-25|
Source: Edmonton Oilers, Official Twitter Account, 3/6/2018 – 11:06 am MST