Using a pick acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks in the Andrew Desjardins trade, the Sharks drafted Ivan Chekhovich in the seventh round, 212th overall.
The Russian forward plays for the Baie-Comeau Drakkar of the QMJHL and also represented Team Russia internationally at the Under-18 World Junior Championships. There, Chekhovich scored nine points in seven games was one of the tournament’s best players, according to ESPN’s Corey Pronman. In his first season in the QMJHL, he was nearly a point-per-game player, scoring 59 points in 60 games. Chekhovich is a left-handed shot, who is comfortable at both center and left wing.
Chekhovich was ranked as high as 51 among players that played in North America this season by NHL Central Scouting, but finished the year ranked 71st. ISS Hockey and Future Considerations were much higher on him, considering him the 50th and 52nd best player available in the draft, respectively. Here’s what the former site had to say about San Jose’s final 2017 draft pick:
A small, feisty winger who plays with offensive punch…not overly flashy but effective…displays very good mobility on the ice being able to make quick directional changes in small spaces…a fluid skater who doesn’t seem to have many flaws in his skating strides, despite not producing elite level speed…not a big deke and dangle guy with the puck…biggest asset may be his hockey IQ alongside his on-ice vision…sees the ice really well and can accomplish well timed and creative passes for his teammates…no fear for this offensive package as he brings a good mix of sandpaper and tenacity to an offensive attack…nice touch with the puck and has a hair trigger release…shot is accurate and effective without being overly powerful…defensively, he always seem to be well positioned either to deflect a shot or pass or to lift the stick of the opposite player…keeps his feet in motion, maintaining solid position…consistency in his two-way effort is not always good…has some boom or bust as a future pro scorer.
His size (5’10”, 177) and skating issues may have scared off teams, but those factors did not scare away San Jose. Under Doug Wilson, the Sharks have been unafraid to take prospects whose skating could use improvement, especially ones with high hockey IQ.
Chekhovich is the first and only non-North American player San Jose selected in this year’s entry draft. The last time the Sharks only drafted one player born outside of North America, when four of the team’s five picks were American or Canadian.
Ivan Chekhovich Career Stats (via EliteProspects)
Date of Birth: January 4, 1999
Place of Birth: Yekaterinburg, RUS
Position: Left Wing/Center
Weight: 177 lbs