Weight: 192 pounds
Date of birth: June 1, 1999
Hometown: Concord, Ontario
Position: Right Wing
OHL Draft: Round 2, 38th overall 2015 Priority Selection by Saginaw Spirit
Niagara IceDogs’ right winger Kirill Maksimov has been on the rise in draft rankings as he should be. He was ranked 185th by National Hockey League Central Scouting among North American skaters in their mid-term rankings. That was only good for fourth among the five IceDogs ranked, just four spots from last.
What a difference five months can make. Not only is Maksimov now the top ranked IceDog on Central Scouting’s final ranking, but he’s jumped all the way to 66th among North American skaters, easily making him the highest riser from the mid-term to final rankings.
Born in Concord Ontario, Maksimov (or Maximov) has the dual citizenship of Canada and Russia. Having already participated for Russia at International Ice Hockey Federation sanctioned tournaments, for international hockey, he is considered Russian going forward.
Maksimov played Minor Midget AAA hockey in Ontario for the Toronto Junior Canadiens during the 2014-2015 season. He played in 28 games for the Canadiens, scoring 16 goals and adding 17 assists. He would score 2 goals to go along with 2 assists in 6 games at the OHL Cup for the Canadiens.
The Saginaw Spirit would select Maksimov with the 38th overall pick at the 2015 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection. He would make his OHL debut the following season. In 54 games with the Spirit, he would score 6 goals and 15 assists. He would add another goal and 3 points in 4 playoff games.
Following his season, he would represent Russia at the World Junior Championship Under-18.
This season, Maksimov appeared in 37 games for the Spirit before a trade deadline deal sent him to Niagara. He posted 6 goals and 10 assists for the Spirit. He added 15 goals and 7 assists to those totals in the 27 games he played for the IceDogs. He followed the season up with 4 goals in 4 playoff games as the Peterborough Petes swept the IceDogs in the opening round of the playoffs.
Maksimov has good size but, of course, he will need to add some bulk and is still learning to use his size. His skating is good and speed is sufficient – he can challenge defenders one-on-one and can win a lot of those races. He can beat a goaltender with a variety of shots including the backhand. His release can be hard to pick up as he can get it off quickly.
Maksimov is not just a goal scorer. In my opinion, his playmaking skills are underrated in some circles. His vision is very good and he reads things quickly and can find teammates in open space or under coverage with tape-to-tape passes.
Defensively, Maksimov must put in some work even if it’s just putting in more effort. Offensively, if he can add another gear to his step and pick up the physicality, there’s no telling what his limits will be.
Stat page of Kirill Maximov at Elite Prospects