We’re now only eight days away from the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft, and we’re continuing to share scouting reports and thoughts on some prospects who might be the right fit for the Blackhawks when their first selection — currently No. 38 overall — is on the board.
DOB: August 12, 2004
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 185
2021-22 Team: Omskie Yastreby (MHL)
Ranked #65 by Scott Wheeler (The Athletic)
Ranked #15 by NHL Central Scouting (EU Skaters)
Ranked #64 by TSN/Bob McKenzie
Ranked #46 by Chris Peters
Ranked #26 by Consolidated Ranking
From Corey Pronman’s Analysis:
Skating: Below NHL average
Puck skills: NHL average
Hockey sense: NHL average
Compete: NHL average
Shot: Above NHL average
“Trikozov is a talented winger. He displays great individual skills and creativity with the puck to often beat opponents one-on-one. He can create for himself with his skill while also showing great vision and instincts as a playmaker to find seams. Trikozov’s vision and shot make him a threat from the perimeter and an asset on the power play. His skating is just OK and his game in general can lack pace. I waver on his compete. I’ve seen games he takes nights off and other games he’s engaged and works hard on both sides of the puck. Trikozov projects as a full-time bottom-six winger.”
From Scott Wheeler’s Analysis:
“Trikozov, an August birthday, was dominant offensively for much of this season in the MHL, really peaked in the playoffs, and spends a lot of time with the puck on his stick when he’s clicking. He can get his shot off in a split second out of catch-and-releases or carries and does so after attacking on angles and looking to beat defenders to openings in the offensive zone. He’s a very entertaining player who threatens with his skill and maneuverability off the rush, often creating good looks for himself or his linemates out of a quick dash immediately after entry. While his defensive commitment leaves a lot to be desired, Trikozov’s a boom-or-bust bet that could pay dividends if he can get over to North America and make the most of the extra year (or half year) of development he has in front of him relative to this draft class.”
From Chris Peters:
“Only 2023 draft phenom Matvei Michkov scored at a higher rate than Trikozov this season. With 45 points in 35 games, Trikizov averaged 1.29 points per game this season. There’s no question he has the offensive ability to produce. My concern is in his skating and willingness to compete for his offense. He’s great at exploiting gaps and finding openings to score, but I don’t think there’s a ton of value off the puck and I’m not sure exactly where he slots in. The reason I still like him in this range is because those hand skills and his anticipation are quality tools that could make him an offensive threat if he finds the other areas of his game.”
From Smaht Scouting:
“Not only does he problem solve, but he completes a lot of dangerous passes to the slot. I recently was looking at Will Scouch’s (Scouching.ca) data and it indicated that Trikozov was one of the stronger dangerous passing prospects in the 2022 NHL Draft class. At this point in the season (as of December 29, 2021), his numbers are comparable to Shane Wright, Cutter Gauthier and Alexander Suzdalev.”
From Last Word on Sports:
“Trikozov is a dangerous presence in the offensive zone. He is not afraid to make plays in traffic and loves to take the puck to the dirty areas of the ice. He has very good vision and hockey IQ. Trikozov can control the puck and extend plays, buying time for his teammates. While doing so, he keeps his head up and looks for the open man. When a scoring opportunity presents itself, Trikozov is able to make a pass through the tight passing lane and set up a teammate. He is also able to play the role of a goal scorer. He has an excellent array of shots and a very quick release on all of them.”
Is Trikozov a fit in Chicago?
We keep coming back to below average skating, which could just be a reality we have to accept from the Hawks’ pick(s) in the second round of this year’s draft. But, again, this kid can shoot the puck. And with some size to fill out and a late birthday (he doesn’t turn 18 until August), he has time to develop.
I like what Pronman has to say about him offensively. “He can create for himself with his skill while also showing great vision and instincts as a playmaker to find seams.” That feels like a player the Blackhawks could use in their middle six. But the concern comes when Pronman says there are questions about his compete and there are inconsistencies in his effort.
Based on what other scouts think about him — he’s ranked anywhere between eighth and 69th — this is a prospect that doesn’t have a lot of agreement on his ceiling as an NHL prospect. And, again, that’s what we should accept with the Blackhawks’ pick(s) in this draft because most prospects after the top four or five have question marks about some element(s) of their game.