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The Copper & Blue Top 25 Under 25 - #15 Kirill Maksimov

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Kontinental Hockey League: CSKA Moscow vs Amur Khabarovsk Photo by Anton Novoderezhkin\TASS via Getty Images

Kirill Maksimov is a 22-year-old Russian winger, who was drafted in the 5th round, by the Oilers in 2017.

Maksimov ranked 15th on our C&B staff vote, and 17th in the fan poll.

He played junior hockey for the Saginaw Spirit, and Niagra Ice Dogs of the OHL, where he showed a penchant for goal-scoring.

After being traded to Niagra as a 17-year-old, Maksimov scored 97 goals in 170 games as an Ice Dog, including playoffs.

His junior pedigree is encouraging as a prospect for a team that is in desperate need of finishing talent on the wing. However, Maksimov still has to prove he can carry his scoring acumen to the professional level before he can be looked at as a legitimate NHL prospect.

As a 20-year-old, Maksimov spent an entire season in Bakersfield. That’s the encouraging part. However, he wasn’t able to put up much of a stat line while there.

In 53 games as a Condor, Maksimov recoreded 5 goals and 13 points in 53 games played.

Last season, Maksimov split time between the KHL, and VHL (Russia’s second division). 2021-22 will be a big year for Maksimov, as he will have to make a big leap forward in order to establish himself as a future NHLer. At 22, there isn’t much time for him to make a leap big enough to drastically improve his prospect outlook, which would be AHLer or career KHLer at this point.

Keep an eye on Maksimov. His scoring makes him a fun prospect, but it’s now or never to take the next step.