|6’2”||185||12-19-2003||C||L||14th 2019||27th Mid||CANADA|
|2018-19||U-16 AAA||Toronto Marlboros||69||32||25||57|
|2018-19||GTHL U-16||Toronto Marlboros||33||11||12||23|
|2019-20||WHC U-17||Canada Black||5||4||2||6|
|2020-21||WJC U-18||Canada U18||7||0||2||2|
|2020-21||OHL||DID NOT PLAY|
While Guelph Storm forward Danny Zhilkin (Daniil) has both Russian and Canadian citizenship, we list him as Canadian because he has already represented Canada at IIHF tournaments, and under their rules, once you make a decision and represent one country, that designation follows you throughout your career.
A handful of the independent scouting services available have Zhilkin ranked in the 41 to 43 range, so there is some consistency there. However, others like Craig Button (30th), Sportsnet (25th) and Consolidated Ranking (32nd) have him inside the first round. NHL Central Scouting has him 27th among North American skaters in their mid-term rankings. But opinions of those that follow the OHL closely are very split.
So, what are you getting with Zhilkin? Here’s my thoughts.
Well, you’re getting a player with good size at 6’2” that will need to add some mass to his 185-pound frame for one. You’re getting a player that plays with pace when he’s on. You’re getting a player that can bring you to your feet with electrifying moves – when he’s on.
Let’s start with some positives: Zhilkin certainly has all the skills and the tools to dominate in the OHL. He can beat defenders one-on-one almost with relative ease. He can keep possession of the puck. He can set up teammates. He can pass. He will go to the dirty areas to clean up rebounds or set himself in position to receive a pass and fire off a superb shot.
The negative to all that is ‘when he wants to’. At times he is too lackadaisical for me. Other times, he’s trying to beat everyone on the ice himself rather than utilizing his teammates.
Somewhat surprisingly, Zhilkin is a very good three zone player. He at least puts in the effort through the neutral zone and the defensive zone to disrupt the opposition and when he, or his teammates do and the puck is on his stick, his ability to transition is matched by few.
Zhilkin has gotten better as the season has progressed after a somewhat slow start. He has 10 goals and 14 helpers through 27 games at this point of the season, good for second among point getters on his squad. At this point, I expected him to be at least a point-per-game player and it is likely he will get there by the end of the season.
As I said earlier, the tools and the skillset are all there. If he can put it all together, he will be a fine addition to a team’s prospect stable.
Here’s just a sample of what he’s capable of, picking up the rebound in front of his net and going end to end.