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Several teams would be uncomfortable with the idea of drafting Demidov in the top-5
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The 2024 NHL Entry Draft is packed with talented forwards. In addition to Macklin Celebrini, Cayden Lindstrom, Berkly Catton, Tij Iginla, Cole Eiserman and Ivan Demidov have been talked about for several months.

Ivan Demidov is the most mysterious player in the top-10 of the upcoming amateur draft. Most teams agree that he’s an outstanding talent who could be dominant, but there’s always that little something that bothers you about him: he’s Russian.

Unlike Matvei Michkov last year, Demidov doesn’t carry with him threats from his team to keep him in Russia. Nor are there any suspicious deaths in his entourage that might frighten people.

What is worrying teams is that he hasn’t really come up against other quality players in recent seasons. He hasn’t played professionally, and he hasn’t been able to compete with the best U20 players in the world because Russia is still banned from IIHF competitions.

That brings us to the point of Elite Prospects content director Cam Robinson, who was able to chat with representatives of several NHL teams at the Combine.

Robinson says he spoke with a dozen NHL teams at the Combine and none of them would be comfortable with drafting Ivan Demidov in the top-5. It’s worth noting that Robinson isn’t revealing the identity of the teams he spoke to, and that it’s possible that none of them would select in the top-5.

What’s strange is that all these teams also confirm that the young Russian player has one of the best potentials of the entire auction.

Which brings us back to what we talked about earlier. He spent his entire 2023-24 season in Russia’s junior ranks. He amassed 60 points in 30 games, which is impressive, but he didn’t face much adversity.

That’s exactly what’s bothering NHL scouts.

Despite what he’s heard from teams, Cam Robinson is still inclined to believe that Demidov will be selected somewhere in the top-5.

After all, let’s not forget that David Ettedgui told BPM Sports on Thursday that he thinks the Canadiens will select Demidov at the draft.

In gusto

– As expected!

– We’ll see at the draft.

– Flattering.

– Sounds too easy.

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