Player: Ivan Barbashev
Drafted By: St. Louis Blues (33rd overall)
Position: Left Wing
Final Central Scouting Ranking: No. 18 North American skater
Height/Weight: 6'0", 181 lbs
DOB: December 14, 1995 (18 years old)
Most Recent Affiliation: QMJHL, Moncton Wildcats
Ivan Barbashev has a polished offensive game. He is a determined scorer, and he can make a number of moves and plays with the puck to either create an opening for himself or his teammates. Barbashev had two solid seasons for Moncton, scoring 18 goals and 62 points in 2012-13 and 25 goals and 68 points this year.
Full Scouting Report
Barbashev is a solid, all-around prospect because he can bang bodies and play defense in addition to having the offensive skills that scouts are looking for from top-end talent.
Barbashev played on the checking line for the Russians at the World Junior Championships, and that was an eye-opener to show he could play defense as well as offense against high-level competition. That should help him when he gets to the next level, and it gives him an edge on many of the other draft-eligible players who have not demonstrated that ability.
Barbashev will have to work on polishing his offensive skills before he goes to the next level. He is a good shooter, passer and puck-handler, but that's not quite enough to make it in the NHL.
Per NHL.com, NHL director of central scouting Dan Marr thinks Barbashev has high-end potential. "Ivan is a strong skater," Marr said. "He reaches top speed quickly and is a very good playmaker with quick hands. He's not afraid to mix it up, competes one-on-one and battles for pucks. He can be a gamebreaker."
NHL Player Comparison
Tough, hard-hitting and physical with solid offensive skills brings Los Angeles Kings forward Dustin Brown to mind.
That's a great compliment to the young Russian forward, because Brown is a game-changing player who will go into the dirty areas, take the hit and make a game-changing play. Barbashev has the same kind of makeup and skill set, and now he has to go out and prove it.
Give Barbashev one more year to develop at the junior level before he gets his opportunity to play consistently at the NHL level. His defensive skills and willingness to hit should show scouts and coaches he is quite close to being NHL-ready right now, and one more year of development should be all he needs before he can play in the NHL.
Barbashev's strong all-around play should give him the opportunity to play in the NHL fairly quickly. However, if he makes a quick entry into the league, it's likely to be a in a third- or fourth-line capacity because of his defensive strength. That could get him pigeonholed as a third-line-type player. However, if he can improve his offensive play, he could average 25-30 goals and become a top-five player on his team.