BUFFALO NY - JANUARY 05: Dmitri Orlov #9 of Russia touches the trophy for winning the 2011 IIHF World U20 Championship Gold medal against Canada after defeating Canada 5-3 at the HSBC Arena on January 5 2011 in Buffalo New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
In my profile and breakdown of Zakhar Arzamastsev, I talked about the possibility that his offense may hidden and suppressed by a terrible team around him. I noted that he probably outscored highly-touted Capitals' prospect Dmitri Orlov at even strength. Rather than speculate, I sifted through the Metallurg Novokuznetsk box scores to find the numbers.
Sure enough Arzamastsev did outscore Orlov at even strength, tallying 3 even strength goals and 5 even strength assists to Orlov's 0 and 6, respectively.
I took the comparison one step further by calculating an approximate even strength scoring rate for each player. According to various game recaps, Orlov was on the top power play and Arzamastsev got an occasional shift. I calculated Orlov's even strength time as if he played a similar amount of power play time per game as both a #1 NHL power play defenseman (~3:00 per game) and a #2 (~2:40 per game). I used :30 per game to calculate Arzamastsev's power play totals. I then subtracted those estimates from their known even strength time. The results are below.
There are caveats to the numbers. First, these are very rough time on ice estimates. But the raw numbers still show Arzamastsev outscoring Orlov at even strength in far less time on ice. Second, Orlov was likely facing stronger quality of competition. But Orlov is also a year older than Arzamastsev and should be somewhere ahead of Arzamastsev on the development curve. Third, this is only one season and a shorter KHL season at that. But when analyzing prospects, one season is often all we can go on.
Once he completed his season with Novokuznetsk, Orlov signed a PTO with the Hershey Bears in mid-February and played in 19 games, scoring 2 goals and collecting 7 assists.
Orlov was drafted by the Washington Capitals in the 2nd round, #55 overall in 2009. Orlov is widely regarded as Washington's second-best prospect behind fellow Russian Evgeny Kuznetsov and has drawn rave reviews from scouts, especially after leading Russia to a gold medal at the 2011 World Junior Championships and being named first-team all-WJC.
And now Novokuznetsk has produced another solid defenseman, one who outscored his older colleague. Arzamastsev is ranked far lower than #55 by nearly all scouting services and rankings, but might go higher than those services this June. Yesterday, I spoke with a member of the scouting community about Arzamastsev and he told me, "We think he's very underrated." Don't be surprised if a team with a Russian connection or a history with Russian picks (Detroit, Washington, St. Louis, Winnipeg, New York) scoops him up from seemingly out of the blue.