2014 NHL Draft Prospect Profile #31: Nikolai Goldobin

One of the top scorers in the OHL with an electric offensive skillset, Goldobin's weaker defensive play and a concern over his Russian heritage have seen his draft stock dip into the late first / early second round.

Name: Nikolai Goldovin
Position: RW
Team: Sarnia Sting (OHL)
Date of Birth: October 7, 1995
Place of Birth: Moscow, Russia
Height/Weight 6'0 / 185 lbs.
Shoots: Left

Somehow we're talking about one of the top scorers in the OHL all the way down in the late 20s / early 30s in our draft prospect series...and to most scouts, the reason he's that low on the draft board is because he's Russian. You have to wonder if that's a mistake that may come back to haunt a few teams.

The Sting aren't really in a good place - they've been rebuilding for the last couple seasons - but Goldovin is a pretty silver lining to those dark clouds, producing at over a point per game pace in his first two seasons. His defensive game does need some work, and it would be nice to see him add on a bit more muscle, but his game is more about finesse and quickness than it is hitting - more of a playmaker than a power forward.

Having taken the Top Player honors for Team Cherry at this year's OHL top prospects game, his stock may rise on draft day, but a lot of teams may fear the possibility of a KHL offer enough to keep him on the board longer than his talent warrants.

Scouting Reports:

Goldobin can play a high speed game off the rush, or he can show poise with the puck and be patient and wait for an opening in the offensive zone. He doesn't seem to get flustered often with the puck on his stick, and if he has the time and space out there, chances are that he will take advantage of it. -Last Word On Sports

Great skater, elite stickhandler, creative passer, elite wrist shot, outstanding power play guy with absolute top level hockey sense for offense. The issues are that he's slightly under-sized, plays poor defense, lack of desire to play without the puck, lack of willingness to be physical, tendency to play on the peripheral as well as the Russian factor. - The Hockey Writers

Why he'd be a good fit in Columbus

His lack of two way play is a bit of a concern, but I keep watching the highlight reels for this guy and wondering if maybe it'd be worth the risk - he's the kind of player who always wants the puck, and when he gets it, he makes something happen. If the "Russian factor" really does make Goldobin drop, particularly if he falls into the second round? I think it's worth taking a shot. The more I see what he can do, the more I think he's going to be an NHL star for someone - might as well be us.

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