With their fourth selection at the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, the Edmonton Oilers have drafted Maxim Beryozkin with the 138th pick.
After using their first three picks on North American skaters, the Oilers have dipped into the European market by selecting Russian winger Maxim Beryozkin. (There are two different spellings of his name, I’m going with Beryozkin, as he’s listed on Elite Prospects.)
Beryozkin has come up through the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl system. Last season, he produced 54 points in 51 games for their MHL team (Junior level) and got one game as a cup of coffee with the KHL quad. This year, Beryozkin has one assist through seven games with Lokomotiv in the KHL.
With a big frame, reportedly good puck skills, and impressive offensive production, Beryozkin looks to have the upside of an interesting power-forward. This looks like a nice snag for the Oilers in the fifth round.
Here’s what scouts have to say about him…
He is one of the very top offensive players on Loko, which makes him worthy of a long look at least. Beryozkin scores with volume and has proficient handling skills. He creates offence by roughing opponents in the offensive zone and taking the puck along the wall. He looks towards his blue-liners like he’s going to pass it, then fires it on net. – EliteProspects 2020 NHL Draft Guide
Beryozkin was one of the top forwards in the MHL this past season. He’s a 6-foot-2 winger with legitimate high-end skill. His 1-on-1 play is very good, and he’s able to create a lot of chances with his skill. He has some power to his game, too. While his shot is good enough to score from a distance, he’s scored a lot of goals by getting to the crease area with his size and strength. He can make plays and shows flashes of top-end vision, but I wouldn’t call that his strongest area. Berezkin’s main drawback is his skating, which isn’t poor but he lacks quickness and a true separation gear. This makes some scouts skeptical his game will translate to the NHL.
NHL scout on Beryozkin: ‘He has hard skill and intriguing potential for the higher levels if he can add a step to his skating.’ – Corey Pronman, The Athletic
With a large frame and advanced offensive talents in key areas, Maksim Beryozkin is hard to miss when a Loko game is on. A right-handed shot, he mans his off wing on the left side of the top line alongside Oilers’ center prospect Maksim Denezhkin and undrafted right wing Yegor Manin. Beryozkin is used in all even-strength situations and sees additional ice time on the lead penalty-killing unit and the point or bumper on the power play. Statistically speaking, the numbers from his second full MHL season are beyond impressive. Beryozkin finished the regular season as the league leader among first-year draft eligibles with 25 goals and his 1.06 points-per-game average was second only to Rodion Amirov. Beryozkin also tied for first in the league with four shorthanded goals. – The Draft Analyst
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