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Dmitri Simashev: “Exactly the kind of defender the CH needs”.
Every year, as the National Hockey League draft approaches, several prospect analysts and analysis sites offer their rankings of the top prospects for the draft.

These rankings are generally similar, but there are usually a few differences.

Sometimes, some prospects ranked in the middle of the first round by most find themselves in the top-10 or even top-5 on other lists.

This is currently the case for two Russian prospects who hardly get a mention: defenseman Dmitri Simashev and forward Daniil But.

These two Russian players are ranked 5th and 7th respectively in the HockeyProspect recruiting service rankings.

This means that Simashev, who is seen more as a late first-round prospect, could be a real option for the Montreal Canadiens at No. 5.

Jérôme Bérubé, Director of HockeyProspect, tells TVA Sports that Simashev is exactly the defenseman the CH would need.

Simashev is a 6’4″ left-handed defenseman who played mostly in the MHL (Russia’s KHL junior league) this season, earning 10 points, including a goal, in 29 games. In the playoffs, Simashev scored two goals and four assists for a total of six points in 10 games.

It’s nothing impressive, but it’s the overall body of work that prompted Jérôme Bérubé to rank Simashev so high.

“He’s a pretty unique defender. There aren’t any 6’4″ guys who skate like he does. Defensemen like that, when you can get them on your team, you don’t trade them.” – Jérôme Bérubé

For HockeyProspect‘s director, there’s no doubt that Simashev is the best defenseman of the 2023 crop.

He would represent exactly the kind of elite defenseman the Tricolore needs. For him, Simashev would be an excellent 5th-round pick.

“Look at the teams in the Canadiens’ division. Buffalo has Owen Power and Rasmus Dahlin. Detroit has Moritz Seider and Simon Edvinsson. Ottawa has Jake Sanderson. In short, the Canadiens had better find themselves an elite defenseman!” – Jérôme Bérubé

In short, it now remains to be seen whether the Tricolore will shun Simashev, given that he’s Russian and the only possible analyses in his case come from different videos.

I’d be very surprised if the CH actually selects this defenseman.

If the CH dares to draft a Russian, it will be Matvei Michkov.

To find out more, here’s TVA Sports’ excellent article on two Russian gems flying under the radar.

En Rafale

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– What are Kyle Dubas’ off-season plans with the Penguins?

– Wow what a great story.

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