Edmonton Oilers Prospect Countdown #14: Maxim Beryozkin

Bruce Curlock
10 months ago
The first of three very good Russian prospects, Maxim Beryozkin, is #14 in the Oilers Prospect Countdown.
Position: LW/RW
Shoots: Right
Nationality: Russia
Date of Birth: October 12, 2001
Drafted: 5th Round Pick, 2020 
Height: 6’3″ / 191 cm
Weight: 216lbs / 98 kg
Ranking last year: Not ranked
Beryozkin enters this year’s countdown at a number that is lower than it should be. The reason his ranking holds him back is that he’s a Russian player under contract in Russia until the end of the 2024-25 season. The Oilers and Russian prospects under contract is a long and tortured history. However, this is a player that is very intriguing.
As can be seen from the stats page, he has excellent offensive ability. His 2022-23 season saw him start in the VHL, which is Russia’s version of the AHL. He was called up at the start of October to his KHL team, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. In 52 games, he went 7-19-26 which placed him 7th on the team.
More impressively, while his overall numbers had him 135th in KHL scoring, there were only nine players 21 or younger that scored more than Beryozkin and on a point-per-game basis, he was fifth amongst those players 21 and under. Finally, the team Beryozkin played for ranked 16th of 22 teams in the KHL in scoring, so he was not getting zoomed here by a strong offence. Here are a couple of excellent clips of Beryozkin’s in-zone skills.

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The most exciting part of the game that Beryozkin brings is that he is very willing to use his size. His play is certainly on the more robust side of the KHL and has a lot of Klim Kostin to his game in terms of how he forechecks.
This goal is an example of what you see with Beryozkin every game. Uses his body to create loose pucks as well as to create opportunities for himself because defenders cannot handle his size.

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Beryozkin will be fascinating to watch this year in the KHL. He averaged a little over 14 minutes a game in the regular season, but that increased to 16:53 per game in the playoffs. In addition, he became a fixture on the first powerplay in the second half of the season. What to watch for is a prominent increase in his time on ice and his point totals. Beryozkin scored six of his seven goals at even strength.
Given his ability at 5v5 combined with increased power play time, we should expect solid increases in point totals. If that happens, the Oilers will need to work very hard to bring this player to the NHL at the end of his KHL contract.

Previously in the countdown

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