When the Oilers drafted Ziyat Paygin in the seventh round of last years draft, I didn't really react much. I mean, the chances of playing more than 100 games for a play selected 209th overall is only 8%.
Now, he has been named to the KHL's Western All-Star Team.
At the time of the draft, the International Scouting Services (ISS) ranked Paygin #112 overall, almost 100 spots before he was selected.
A player with excellent size, Paygin is a defenseman with excellent mobility, especially considering his height and weight, who may lack elite potential but has all the tools to become a regular player, maybe even in the NHL. He is gifted with great skating and a good reading of the ice, but he needs to move his feet more and play less of a passive style. He should also use his shot more, and in general needs to work on the offensive side of the game. A very intriguing player considering his size and mobility.
When drafted, Paygin was playing with the KHL's Ak Bars Kazan where he two points in 33 games. This season, Paygin has scored 19 points in 26 games and has posted a +6. He was also a member of the Russian squad for 2014 World Junior Championships where he scored three points in seven games to go with 20 PIM and a +7 rating.
According to Rob Vollman's NHL equivalency, Paygin's season pace of 44 points would translate to 35 points in the NHL.
The 6'6, 194 lbs defender is one that certainly could fit into the Oilers plans moving forward. The lack of size on the Oilers blueline has been a concern for quite sometime.
Moving forward, I would really like to see what he could do on the smaller ice in North America. His size and mobility really intrigue me. He currently does not have a contract with the team.
Former Oiler players Cam Barker, Linus Omark and Philip Larsen also were named to the KHL's All-Star game.