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.
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.
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.
- 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:
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