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Photo Credit: Twitter.com/Condors

All About Ostap Safin

Ostap Safin is a prospect of interest for a lot of Oilers fans based on his size and skill. Despite being a mid-round pick, Safin has been able to outshine many of the selections chosen around him, giving some hope that he could be a draft day steal for the Oilers. A lot has changed for Ostap Safin since being drafted in the fourth round (115th overall) in 2017. In the months following his selection, the 6’5″ Czech winger has found himself playing in North America for the first time, signing his entry-level contract, and getting his first taste of the pro game with the Bakersfield Condors. Needless to say, this is definitely a prospect worth keeping an eye on as he advances in his young career, but one that should be given the time to develop properly because his upside could be well worth the wait.

BIO:

Position: Right Wing — Shoots: Left
Born: February 11th, 1999 — City: Prague, Czech Republic
Height: 6 feet 5 inches — Weight: 191 lbs [196 cm/87 kg]
Drafted: 115th overall (fourth round) in 2017
Junior: Saint John Sea Dogs — League: QMJHL

NEWS AND SCOUTING REPORTS

Earlier this month, Jason Gregor broke down the Oilers’ Top 10 prospects that have the potential to make an impact with Ostap Safin coming in at number eight:

He’s huge at 6’5″ and just needs time to get stronger and fill out his massive frame. He had a good first season in the QMJHL, producing 26-32-58 in 61 games. Adapting to the smaller ice and a new country is a challenge, but he looked more comfortable throughout the season. He led the Saint John Sea Dogs in scoring and should build on his numbers this year. Right now he projects to be a middle six winger.

Before the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, Dustin Nielson looked at where Safin fits within the depth chart and future plans:

Ostap Safin is a giant with a lot of offensive potential. I’ve heard him described as highly skilled but still needing a lot of work in other areas of his game.

At this point, I’d say he’s a long-term project for Jay Woodcroft and his crew in Bakersfield.

From Curtis Joe at Elite Prospects:

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; often 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.

Jameson Ewasiuk at Dobber Prospects broke down Safin’s 2017-18 season:

It‘s hard not to be intrigued by the big Czech winger‘s smooth skating, soft hands and offensive ability. In his first campaign in the QMJHL last season, Safin led the Saint John Sea Dogs with 26 goals and 58 points in 61 games. The numbers might not sound special but they are definitely solid as his team‘s next highest point-getter had just 41 points. Safin signed an entry-level contract with the Oilers in March and will likely return to Saint John this year where he should improve his numbers and continue to be one of the offensive leaders for the Sea Dogs. Like most prospects, patience and steady development are two things that will be key for the young winger. Safin has all the tools to play in the NHL but must fill out his lanky frame and become more consistent before he can make that step.

A pre-draft look at Safin from The Draft Analyst:

A big man with agility and first-step quickness? Sign me up! This draft doesn’t have as many goal-scoring power forwards as a year ago, but Safin is one of the few 1999’s who’s played well enough to earn a senior league promotion. He’s a big kid who fills the lane and can really overpower opponents. It almost unfair when he’s as the ice — he skates very well for his size and can be impossible to knock off the puck. A skilled power forward who skates well and has a very good shot, Safin checks a lot of blocks for what you’d want in a modern-day power forward. One aspect of his game that stands out is the way he can maintain balance and control the puck while extending his lengthy reach. Safin has extremely strong wrists and fires a hard shot with a quick release whether off balance or from his back foot. Safin is a very good skater for his size and possesses a soft set of hands, and he is capable of making neat little lead passes while absorbing hits. He’s looked good at several international tournaments, including the U18s where he collected four points in five games.

PRE-DRAFT RANKINGS

  • THW Alternate Rankings: 40th
  • Future Considerations: 52nd
  • NHL Network: 98th
  • Bob McKenzie: 51st
  • Craig Button: 82nd
  • Corey Pronman: 76th

VIDEO AND HIGHLIGHTS

As usual, Edmonton Future Watch put together a wonderful compilation of Safin’s 2017-18 season:

Safin’s first professional goal with the Bakersfield Condors:

Highlights from last year’s U18 Tournament:

Safin speaking to the media following the Edmonton Oilers development camp:

SEASON STATS

SEASON TEAM LEAGUE GP G A TP PIM +/- PGP G A TP PIM
2013-14 HC Sparta Praha U16 Czech U16 30 17 13 30 10 36 3 0 1 1 0
2014-15 HC Sparta Praha U16 Czech U16 31 33 19 52 12 24 3 1 1 2 6
HC Sparta Praha U18 Czech U18 4 2 2 4 0 3 1 0 0 0 0
Czech Republic U16 (all) International-Jr 22 9 5 14 6 6
2015-16 HC Sparta Praha U18 Czech U18 38 28 19 47 26 35 10 3 8 11 4
HC Sparta Praha U20 Czech U20 2 0 0 0 2 0
HC Sparta Praha Czech 1 0 0 0 0 0
Czech Republic U17 WHC-17 5 1 0 1 0
Czech Republic U17 (all) International-Jr 21 7 5 12 29 2
2016-17 HC Sparta Praha U18 Czech U18 1 0 0 0 0 -1 2 1 1 2 2
HC Sparta Praha U20 Czech U20 24 6 12 18 66 6 6 4 5 9 2
HC Sparta Praha Czech 8 1 1 2 2 2
HC Stadion Litomerice  Czech2 3 0 0 0 0 -1
Czech Republic U18 WJC-18 5 1 3 4 2 -1
Czech Republic U18 (all) International-Jr 23 8 8 16 16 2
2017-18 Saint John Sea Dogs QMJHL 61 26 32 58 31 -29
Bakersfield Condors AHL 9 1 0 1 2 -1
Czech Republic U20 WJC-20 7 1 2 3 6 1
Czech Republic U20 (all) International-Jr 16 2 7 9 12 0

TOURNAMENT STATS

SEASON TEAM LEAGUE GP G A TP PIM +/-
2013-14 Hlavni mesto Praha U15 ODM 8 2 8 10 3 10
2016-17 HC Sparta Praha U20 JCWC 4 1 1 2 0 -2
HC Sparta Praha Champions HL 2 0 0 0 0 0
Czech Republic U18 Hlinka Gretzky Cup 5 3 1 4 2 1

Stats provided by Elite Prospects

Previously:

  • NewPants

    6′-5″. Nice, put him with Drai and Pool and give him a stick. They will tower over the trending smaller puck moving D-men.
    He’s worth following this year and hope for some improvement in the A.

  • OriginalPouzar

    It will be curious to see where Safin plays this coming season. Due to being drafted to the NHL while playing in Europe and prior to being taking in the import draft, he is eligible to play in the AHL as a teenager.

    Normally I am of the opinion that the AHL is always better for development than the CHL, if its an option, however, I’m not sure in this case.

    The issue with sending him back to St. John is, while they may be better than last year, they are not a good team and he was on an Island last year offensively after Valeno got traded. They often dressed 10 forwards and asked Safin to play center (not his natural position).

    It would be nice if Safin could get moved to a contender – hello Halifax Mooseheads, host of the Memorial Cup.

  • 18% body fat

    Decent prospect, people need to tamper expectations with him. He is going into his draft +2 season, and has not hit a PPG in the Q. This is not a sign of offense. The Q is the easiest league to score in, and when you are that much bigger you should be able to produce, if you have the offensive instincts you need survive in the NHL.

    I think everyone is over Zealous about this pick because of his size.

    Hope he turns out, but odds are he doesnt.

    • OriginalPouzar

      Oh, I don’t disagree – he is far from a can’t miss prospect and, if he does “make it” it very well may be in the middle 6 or bottom 6.

      Yes, his stats are somewhat pedestrian for the Q but lets not forget, he was brand new to North America and he played on an awful team void of offensive help (after Valeno got traded). He was asked to play center (not his natural position) and carry the offence with little help.

      I would assume his offence will spike somewhat if he’s moved to a better team – fingers crossed.

      • Redbird62

        Actually nothing like Yamamoto: Scored 1.6 ppg in his draft + 1 season in arguably a harder league to score in. And no one is over zealous because of his size. And as for the odds he won’t make it, while he is not a sure thing, the NHL in its history has had a whole bunch of very good and star players originally deemed too small by way better experts than you but probably as narrow minded about size as you seem to be.

  • Abagofpucks

    He’s a big kid with some skills and no big injury problems, Like all prospects needs to work on everything if he’s gonna make it. Hopefully the Oil bring him along properly and put him in the best situations possible to further his development.

  • Abagofpucks

    As far as yams goes he’s got lots of skills speed, He reminds of little Johnny down the road. And if the stats are accurate JG is only 1 inch taller and 2 pounds heavier than yams. For me thats not much of a difference, Plus JG is 24-5 and yams just turned 19, Yams could still grow a little more and get heavier than Jg thru weight training so id say hes doing fine.

  • Hockeysense9393

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    (Fade to black)

    “Anybody give a s*** aboouuuttt Yak…u…poovv!