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2020 Draft Countdown: Maxim Groshev, Ivan Didkovsky, Jaromir Pytlik, Yan Kuznetsov, Oliver Suni 

Welcome to OilersNation’s 2020 Draft Countdown. Over the next few weeks leading up to the draft (or, well, when it seems the draft might be), we’ll be rounding up scouting reports, quotes, and videos about our Top-100 prospects available. Here are aggregated profiles on Maxim Groshev, Ivan Didkovsky, Jaromir Pytlik, Yan Kuznetsov, and Oliver Suni.

No. 80: Maxim Groshev

Date of Birth: December 14th, 2001

Nation: Russia 

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Position: Left/Right Wing

Shoots: Left

Height: 187 cm / 6’2″

Weight: 88 kg / 194 lbs

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Profile: A late-2001 birthday, Groshev is one of the more physically-mature players available in the draft. He’s a big, strong power-forward who projects to be a solid depth player at the NHL level. Groshev has already played 36 games at the KHL level. 

Groshev is a winger with large frame, and he likes to rush the puck himself. He is a pretty prototypical power forward. He knows how to take advantage of his size and move the puck through the neutral zone. He shows some flashes of creativity sometimes but his game is mostly strict and aimed to go to the net. He likes to shoot the puck, and his wrist shot is quite a good weapon. He lacks tempo at senior level so far, but his skating isn’t weak as he is pretty agile taking size into equation. Top speed is decent for his size, but acceleration definitely needs some work.

Groshev is likely to develop into a strong middle-six forward without any standout tools. But with size, good rushing skills, and ability to score goals from close distance, he seems to be an attractive option for teams searching to add some quality prospect pool depth. Not a star, but a useful utility guy you’d like to see on your team. Groshev should be a mid-round pick at the 2020 NHL Draft, and likely won’t bump his draft stock at the World Juniors while playing on the fourth line. – Sergei Kuzin, Dobber Prospects

No. 79: Ivan Didkovsky

Date of Birth: January 20th, 2002

Nation: Russia

Position: Right Wing

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Shoots: Left

Height: 179 cm / 5’10”

Weight: 84 kg / 185 lbs

Profile: Didkovsky is a highly-skilled offensive winger who boasts excellent stick skills, a lethal shot, and creativity in the offensive zone. His 20 goals ranked him fifth among U18 skaters in the MHL last season. 

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Ivan Didkovsky is without a doubt the best first time draft eligible player in the MHL. He’s electric on offense, always looking to pull off highlight reel plays. His deke arsenal is really impressive, and his shot is even more impressive. Didkovsky can pick corners with ease, with both his wrist shot and one-timer. His release is super quick, and is definitely his best tool. His speed is good, and sometimes exceptional. He’s shown that he’s definitely got another gear when he needs it. He can be a little bit frustrating to watch sometimes, due to his penchant for going between the legs, but is still an immensely talented forward with some real scoring potential. – Alexander Taxman, Future Scope Hockey

No. 78: Jaromir Pytlik 

Date of Birth: September 25th, 2001

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Nation: Czech Republic

Position: Centre

Shoots: Right 

Height: 190 cm / 6’3″

Weight: 91 kg / 201 lbs

Profile: After coming over to the OHL mid-way through the 2018-19 season from the Czech Republic, Pytlik played his first full season for the Soo Greyhounds this year, posting 50 points in 56 games. He’s a strong, two-way centre with good hockey smarts and an all-around game, the definition of a safe pick. 

Jaromir Pytlik is the quintessential all-around player. Particular amongst his notable attributes are skating, puck control and finishing. He has the ability to break away in an offensive area and create a lot of scoring opportunities which makes him very effective. He’s an active playmaker who can lead the team with a number of combinations and final passes, but he can also take responsibility when needed with good defensive skills. Overall, he has excellent hockey sense. As a result of his speed and strong physical skill, he can make some tough one-on-one moves and often out-muscle defenders. – Elite Prospects

No. 77: Yan Kuznetsov

Date of Birth: March 21st, 2002

Nation: Russia 

Position: Defence

Shoots: Left

Height: 190 cm / 6’3″

Weight: 91 kg / 201 lbs

Profile: A defence-first defenceman, Kuznetsov surprised a bit with more offensive production than expected in his sophomore season with the University of Connecticut. He’s a big defenceman who thrives in his own zone, but adding more of an offensive element to his game could make him a very strong prospect. 

While Kuznetsov contributes offensively, his bread and butter is his defensive game. I’d argue his one of the best defensive players in this draft class. He uses his body to clear traffic in front of the net, he blocks passes, wins puck battles along the boards and he can deliver some big hits. His defensive awareness is along the top of this draft class and should have a big impact on where he’s drafted in the 2020 NHL Draft.

That being said, I believe Kuznetsov will surprise a little bit with his offensive ability. He’s a good skater – not great, but this will improve over time – that can lead the rush, and he has a cannon of a shot. He won’t be an offensive defenseman by any means, but he should bring a solid two-way game to the team that drafts him. – Josh Bell, The Hockey Writers

No. 76: Oliver Suni 

Date of Birth: February 13th, 2002

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Nation: Finland

Position: Right Wing

Shoots: Right

Height: 188 cm / 6’2″

Weight: 85 kg / 187 lbs

Profile: Though Suni only produced 32 points in 43 games in his first season after moving from Finland to the OHL, he boasts an exciting package of a large frame with excellent skating ability and a nose for the net. He has a ways to go in terms of developing his skills, but his physical package makes him a very interesting prospect. 

First and foremost, you have to love Suni’s size. And he’s not afraid to use it, whether its in on the forecheck, plowing through opposition defenders, driving to the net and even in his own zone to separate the opposition from the puck.

For a bigger player, you have to like Suni’s skating. His first few steps are surprisingly strong and bordering on explosive. Combined with his size, he has the confidence in his skating to drive to the net. Yet, he’s not afraid to keep possession and make things happen. His vision is very good and we think his playmaking skills are underrated.

Suni is also very adept at the defensive game, and this being his first season in North America, it comes as a bit of a surprise. As already mentioned, he’s not afraid of the physicality to separate opponents from the puck. But he also has an incredibly long reach and gets that stick into lanes to take away passes and disrupt plays. – Dominic Tiano, OHL Writers