Kirill Maksimov checks into the 2018 Top 25 Under 25 at number 15 overall. Let’s check out how the panel voted.
We’re nearing the halfway point of our Top 25. Today, it’s all about Kirill Maksimov. Maksimov was a fifth round selection at 146th overall in the 2017 Entry Draft. A right winger, Maksimov has just finished his third year in the OHL and second with the Niagara Ice Dogs. He compiled 80 points (34-46-80) in 62 games, good for second on the club. Only Akil Thomas (2nd round in 2018, Los Angeles #51 overall) had more points (81), and Thomas had six more games played.
Kirill Maksimov made the jump from #29 in our Top 25 to #15 in one year. When you turn in a big season with Niagara in the OHL, good things are bound to happen for you.
Maksimov signed a three year entry-level deal with the Oilers in March of this year.
Kirill Maksimov is a right winger who had significant success in 2017-18, something that the Oilers are very hopeful can translate to the NHL game in a couple of years. Maksimov is a kind of player that the Oilers don’t have a lot of waiting in the wings, and those are scoring right wings.
They’ve got 2016 fourth overall pick Jesse Puljujarvi who will be looking to make a significant contribution to the lineup this year. They’ve got 2017 22nd overall selection Kailer Yamamoto, who had a nine game tryout last year. Ostap Safin finished #20 in our Top 25 last week. At the NHL level? There’s Ty Rattie. He’s put up some numbers at the AHL level, and didn’t look bad mashed up on the McDavid-Nugent-Hopkins line. He’s far from a sure thing. The Oilers don’t have very many sure things currently at the NHL level, and unless something moves in the interim, there won’t be a whole lot, Since Jordan Eberle was moved for Ryan Strome a little more than a year ago, the top six right wing has been a turnstile with no clear solution.
Maksimov is one of Edmonton’s best junior prospects right now There’s more than a year to go before he sees any pro experience, and there’s certainly no guarantee Maksimov becomes an NHL regular, but there’s plenty to like so far. “Elite hands” says VP of Player Development Scott Howson. The Oilers are counting on those elite hands.
ONE TO WATCH
Maksimov’s progression from a 38 point player in 2016-17 (between Saginaw and Niagara) to an 80 point player with Niagara in 2017-18 is exactly what you want to see in a prospect. Already averaging well over a point per game in his third season in the OHL, Maksimov will try to blow the doors off and score as many points as he can in his final Junior season before heading to Bakersfield in 2019.