Weight: 160 pounds
Date of birth: August 18, 2000
Hometown: Concord, Ontario
Position: Left Wing
OHL Draft: Round 13, 216 overall, 2016 Priority Selection
NHL Central Scouting pre-season: C Prospect
NHL Central Scouting mid-term: 118th overall, North American Skaters
NHL Central Scouting final rank: 97th overall, North American Skaters
What is it with the Erie Otters and their love for smaller players? They seem to find them repeatedly and that’s where winger Maxim Golod comes in. There’s teammate Kyle Maksimovich who previously went undrafted and re-enters the draft for 2018. And of course, there is Alex DeBrincat who had an excellent Ontario Hockey League career and is coming off a very good National Hockey League rookie season.
That’s not to suggest Golod is in the same class as DeBrincat, he’s not. But the Otters certainly do not shy away from the undersized player with skill and they nurture them along and allow them to develop into the best players they can be.
Standing at 5’11”, Golod is not the smallest player to lace up the skates. But at a measly 160 pounds, he has some serious meat to add to his frame.
Golod played his Minor Midget AAA hockey during the 2015-2016 season with the Mississauga Senators of the GTMMHL. In 33 games, Golod scored 5 goals and assisted on 11 others. The Otters wouldn’t select Golod until the 13th round of the 2016 OHL Priority Selection, making him the 216th overall pick.
The following season, Golod would go on to play Midget AAA hockey with the Markham Majors of the GTHL. He would have an excellent offensive season notching 25 goals and 57 helpers in 48 games with the Majors.
This season, his rookie OHL season, Golod would appear in 61 games for the Otters, scoring 12 goals and 21 assists. Those aren’t bad numbers for a Rookie in the OHL, finishing tied for eighth. Up until trade deadline, he wasn’t always put in the best offensive situations, yet he still managed to score 6 goals and 13 assists in 36 games. Once the Otters dealt away Taylor Raddysh, among others, Golod received more opportunities, yet his points-per-game remained relatively unchanged on 6 goals and 8 assists in 25 games.
So, who is Maxim Golod?
Off the ice, he is a mature, intelligent young man. He speaks three languages fluently. His parents are natives of Russia, so it is only a given that Russian was his first language. Of course, growing up in Canada, more specifically Ontario, English is at the top of the list. And finally, French, after spending almost all his education years in French Immersion Schools. This is a fine piece by Hali Hetz of the Hockey Writers.
On the ice, Golod displays that same intelligence often showing excellent reads, anticipation and vision. Despite the small stature, he is extremely hard on the puck, does not shy away from battles along the walls – often winning those battles, and a strong tendency to head to the dirty areas, especially in front of the opposition net. Adding the much-needed muscle can not only add to his confidence, and to the already good success rate in those areas.
Golod is an excellent skater with good acceleration and top end speed. He is very good on his edges and can move well in any direction. He handles the puck extremely well at top speed and is a magician with the puck in tight quarters.
The defensive game continues to be a work in progress for Golod. While he showed improvement as the season progressed, it is an area he will need to continue to work at. He has the smarts, the skating and the work ethic to put in the necessary work but will have to show he can put it all together.
While the NHL is changing, size still plays a role. And that may cause Golod to fall lower then his skill set says he should be taken. That said, there will be several teams interested in him. He will need a lot of development time. You don’t find his skill set that often in the later rounds. A team that has the time to develop and an already strong prospect pool may just jump earlier.