Copper and Blue’s Top 25 under 25 checks in today at number 15 with Kirill Maksimov.
Let’s see how our panel voted.
Similar numbers across the board.
Fast-forward everything about two years. The Oilers need a fully developed, seasoned Kirill Maksimov in the top six right now. A lot can happen between now and the end of training camp, but all systems point to Maksimov making his Bakersfield debut this fall.
If all works out well, the Oilers could be sitting pretty on the wing in a few short years.
A fifth round selection in the 2017 Entry Draft, the 6’3”Maksimov has finished his final year with Niagara (OHL). He put up an impressive 79 points, tied for third on the club with Dallas’ second round selection Jason Robertson (39th overall, 2017). Prior to that, he finished with a cool 80 in 2017-18. Up from 34 goals last season, his 40 goals in 2018-19 had him ranked just outside the OHL’s top 10 goal scorers (he finished 11th). His 118 PIMs put him at third overall in the league. All good so far, yeah?
WHY HE WAS RANKED 15th
There’s plenty to like about Kirill Maksimov.
Maksimov is both a scorer and a playmaker. He’s effective on the power play, and he’s not afraid to go to the net, something that caused a big hullabaloo regarding another prospect who has not been named. If Maksimov’s target date for the NHL is in one year (maybe?), I’d love to see him play on the right side in the top six. He spent a significant amount of time on the left wing this year in Niagara, so it will be interesting to see how it all shakes out
15th is sort of a placeholder for Maksimov right now. He’s going to see a dramatic uptick in his ranking in 2020, or he’ll be a candidate to fall off considerably. Maksimov’s showed that he’s got the goal scoring chops as well as the playmaking ability, though his skating is probably his number one area that could improve.
Maksimov is one of the top forward prospects for the Oilers who has yet to play in an NHL game. It will likely be at least a year before we get to see him in Alberta, though there’s plenty to be excited about in 2019-20 as he embarks on the next step in his pro career. I’m hopeful that he lands on a scoring line in Bakersfield, and I’m hopeful that it keeps trending throughout his career.