The 2018 draft is just filled to the brim with incredible names.
Kirill Marchenko happens to be one of them! And what a young talent he is.
Marchenko is a 6’0, 187 lb. Russian who finished a fairly solid stint as a member of Мамонты Югры (Mamonty Yugra, or Yugra Mammoths if you don’t speak Russian) and as a member of the U-18 Russian squad, where he dazzled scouts at the world juniors and in international competition with a level of skill yet to be truly tapped into.
Marchenko is, quite simply, a blast to watch play hockey.
Marchenko (wearing 21 in russian red and 14 in Yugra blue/green/white here in those videos) shows you something pretty obvious: he’s way too skilled to be playing with his peers for the rest of his life. His level of puck control, awareness of who’s where on the ice and more importantly who he has to get through to get a shot or a goal is nearly unmatched. His agility on skates makes defending him an absolute nightmare, and his hands make that nightmare all the longer and more poignantly terrifying for defenders. His passing is set almost entirely to disadvantage defending blueliners into one-on-one opportunities, and his ability to create and extend zone time with puck movement alone is incredible to watch.
Of course, when you’re this good offensively, there are going to be things you struggle with defensively.
His defense is a work in progress because of how he runs it. He likes getting his stick in the way, poke checking and the like, and likes intercepting passes when he can, but because he’s playing in a league that de-emphasizes hitting, that can sometimes be his downfall if the opponent can get around him. Furthermore, he tends to be inconsistent with his decision-making when it comes to this, as he can get caught out of position if he chooses poorly. Furthermore, in his first mainline season with Mamonty didn’t have the results:
Marchenko is a player that, with time, could be a dynamite player for an NHL team. But patience will have to be the key, because Marchenko still has work to do on a pretty key part of his game...unless, of course, you’re planning on sheltering his starts a lot. Which is a legitimate strategy these days.
Of course, you still have to put in the work for that. For a late 2nd, or 3rd round pick? You can probably make that time for a player with the kind of high end skill he exhibits. It’s worth a shot, anyhow.
17th by NHL Central Scouting among European skaters
29th by ISS Hockey
59th by FutureConsiderations
Kirill Marchenko Statline
|2015-16||Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk U16||Russia U16||32||23||29||52|
|Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk U17||Russia U17||10||5||4||9|
|2016-17||Yugra Khanty-Mansysk U17||Russia U17||23||19||21||40|
|Yugra Khanty-Mansysk U18||Russia U18||2||2||3||5|