Mukhanov to Carolina, Kantserov to Chicago

Тимур Муханов

NHL Draft 2023. Roman Kantserov was selected by the Chicago Blackhawks with the 44th pick, while Timur Mukhanov was selected by the Carolina Hurricanes with the late 163rd pick.

After the NHL Draft, there was a strong feeling that Carolina was becoming a Russian team – they have so many of our prospects (young players). Timur Mukhanov was selected by Carolina with the late 163rd pick. The winger played in the system of Avangard Omsk this year, although he moved to Severstal in the offseason. He played his first game in the KHL, but spent most of the season in Russia’s second division, the WHL. He scored four goals and had four assists for eight points in 31 games against the seniors. He also played 15 games in the MHL, the Russian Junior League. Mukhanov scored eight goals and dished out nine assists for 17 points while playing against other young men.

Mukhanov lacks size, but he makes up for it with outstanding skating. He has great speed and really good acceleration. He’s very dangerous in the fast game. Mukhanov’s speed allows him to bypass defenders and cut the corner as he gets closer to the other team’s goal. He also has great agility and work near the boards.

Mukhanov is an outstanding playmaker. He has very good hockey vision and flair. Timur can make quick lateral moves with his feet and swipe his stick quickly to drop a defender and create a pass for a teammate. His ability to control the puck and keep it pinned to the ice is also an advantage. It gives his teammates time to get open. Mukhanov reads the game well and anticipates when and what to do.

Mukhanov is much more of a playmaker than a scorer. His shooting lacks power, and that’s a component that needs to be worked on. That could happen when the forward builds up his muscle mass. Right now, most of his goals come on the open ice, where he can beat the goalie with his nifty hands. He doesn’t seem to shoot much from afar. Timur will need to add some muscle in order to continue to play in the dirty areas of the ice, near the boards and on the rim.

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Mukhanov’s defensive game is under development. His skating allows him to return quickly, and his hockey sense helps him read the game and stay in the right position most of the time. Still, his lack of size and strength could be a problem. He will need to get stronger to be ready to play on North American ice.

Roman Kantserov
Roman Kantserov

Roman Kantserov was selected by the Chicago Blackhawks with the 44th pick. Winger was born on September 20, 2004 in Magnitogorsk. He spent almost the whole season in the MHL, playing for the Steel Foxes team from Magnitogorsk. There he scored 27 goals and scored 54 points in 45 games. At the same time, he got one game at the KHL level without scoring any points in it.

Without any international play to show for it, and because he was low, it’s not surprising that Roman wasn’t more popular with scouts. In fact, his ranking was between 32nd and 96th.

Despite the “Russian factor” that played a role in the last couple of years and his lack of an international resume, and his anthropometric data being less outstanding than most, he still made it into the top 50 rankings and into the top 50 of the draft.

Kantserov’s skating is above average. The main positives lie in his work at the boards and acceleration. Perhaps now, at a young age, that’s more important than being fast. Once he moves to North America, where the rinks are smaller, acceleration and quick burst will be more useful to him than top speed. So you have to work on crossovers and the ability to make tight turns without losing speed, as well as the ability to change direction to keep up with the game.

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The disadvantage is the lack of speed. The biggest reason his speed isn’t too good has to do with his “intermittent” pitch when skating. If Roman can work on his shortcomings and maximize his stride and his explosive speed, his top speed will also improve. This comes with experience. It’s important to understand that with not the most outstanding size and small stature, speed will play a critical role in Kantserov’s career. And the higher it is, the better.

Kantserov is a very smart offensive player. Away from the puck, he is good at looking for and finding open space in the offensive zone. This vision is also evident in his ability to be creative. He often finds free players on his team in good spots on the court and creates a fair amount of chances.

As for his shooting, Kantserov knows when to hit, and he will never force a shot because of pressure or because there is no other option. Even though he’s more of a passer than a shooter, Roman keeps his game pretty well balanced. But when he shoots, his accuracy is mostly consistent, but his shot power leaves a lot to be desired. This may play a role in why the forward hardly uses forced throws from the perimeter.

When it comes to moving the puck across the ice, it’s not a negative ability of the Russian forward, but it’s not entirely positive either. Kantserov is surprisingly effective at getting out of the defensive zone at the right moment. He’s not always good at it, however. In tough situations, they can take the puck away from Roman. Since the neutral zone is in traffic most of the time, this explains the problems that arise. When there is a lot of traffic around him, the little Kantserov gets a little lost on the ice. It takes experience to overcome such situations.

( 6 assessment, average 5 from 5 )
Alexander/ author of the article

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