2016 NHL Draft Radar: Boris Katchouk

The Boriscuda. Who is that, you may ask? Why that’s the nickname of Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds forward Boris Katchouk. While not exactly known for his large size, like a barracuda, he does adopt it’s furious behaviour on the ice, as well as it’s reliance on surprises and short bursts of speed. A draft pick of the OHL’s version of Moneyball in Kyle Dubas, there certainly holds some promise that he might be a solid pick to whoever takes a flyer on him. But, is his projection of a late first round pick too high for a player of his limited skills, or is it the perfect fit? Let’s take a closer look.

THE STATS

Katchouk put up a solid 51 points in 63 games for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the OHL this season, and saw his production increase to 10 points in 12 games in the playoffs. His career numbers are here, via Elite Prospects:

Nothing that really stands out for Boris’ numbers. Basically, once he started to play more competitive hockey, his production dropped. While his numbers aren’t terrible, they don’t exactly promise of him being a scoring phenom if he makes the NHL.

THE EYE TEST

From Elite Prospects:

Katchouk
is a well rounded forward with decent size and good offensive
instincts. He does everything well, but not one thing great. He has a
good speed and generates a good amount of offense, he is not overly
physical, but will also not shy away. He had a coming out party on a
young Greyhounds team and played consistently well all season long. He
had a very good first round series against the Sarnia Sting, in what was
a huge upset.

For me, the line “He does everything well, but not one thing great” might make me hesitant to draft Katchouk. This reeks of “not much upside, but a safe pick”, which is not an ideal player you want to take in the first, or even second round. Whether this is the scouts truly evaluating the player, or they have nothing to really say about him, so they give a generic report, not much impresses about Katchouk.


DOES HE FIT IN WITH THE RED WINGS?

I could see Katchouk in a position to work out with the Wings. After all, he is a physical player, and while not the fastest, certainly has the offensive skills. While the skating concerns me a bit, John Tavares wasn’t known as the greatest skater either, and he turned out all right. Basically, he wouldn’t be a terrible pick in the first round, and based on the draft probability tool via Hockey Graphs, he’ll certainly be available. However, there are better players to go after in the first round, so it wouldn’t make much sense to draft him.