Gleb Trikozov - RW/C - Avangard Omsk #8/#71 - Avg. Rnk - 28.13
35GP - 23G+22A - 17.82% G% 34.87% INV% - 20.80 NHLeS
Well everyone, the time has come. The Scouching Report on Gleb Trikozov. Gleb was a player I knew next to nothing about coming into the season but after seeing he had made his program’s VHL club out of camp with Ivan Miroshnichenko while being among the younger group of draft eligibles, I took a look and it didn’t take long for me to see huge, huge potential with this player, as well as some pretty sizable flaws. With little ice time down the lineup, Trikozov went back to the MHL and completely blew apart the weaker Eastern Conference of that league. Raw production started off strong with 26 points in his first 21 games, and from February through his playoff run, Trikozov put up 36 points in his last 27 games, finishing with a 1.29 total points per game rate that is 2nd in MHL history for draft eligibles behind Nikita Kucherov, and ahead of Artemi Panarin. According to InStat, Trikozov at even strength is sitting at 4 points per 60 minutes of ice time, and his closest challenger is member of Team Scouching who will be turning 21 in June, Yegor Serdyuk. In all situations, this number rises to a staggering 4.7 points per 60. The NHL’s leader in the same metric was Johnny Gaudreau at 4.53, for context.
If you haven’t read the background on my work and approach, please read the embedded article before continuing below.
Once you have read the article, or are familiar with Scouching, here is the full video. Powered by Instat.com
We haven’t even gotten into my tracked data, which is also simply bonkers. While Trikozov’s raw dangerous shot rates at both ends weren’t really at the top end of my database, almost every other category, especially offensive ones, are remarkable. He’s the 2nd highest offensive transition volume player both controlled and total transitions, he’s the most involved player in offensive transitions of anyone tracked, maintained control on 76% of those transitions, and is the number one player in terms of total transitions where he’s involved going either direction on the ice. 35% of his offensive transitions were completed carries, which is also highly notable. Once the puck is in the offensive zone, as you’d expect, Trikozov is just hilarious. His offensive threat is above 30, he’s top 10 in the share of total team shot attempts that are Trikozov from dangerous space, he’s top 15 in both dangerous pass attempts and dangerous shot attempts and took or created 58% of his team’s total shot attempts, putting him 2nd in my dataset, and that number was over 60% before the final game I tracked. There are so, so many positive data points to look at, even if he’s playing in a weaker conference in the infamous Russian junior league, but I’ll make the argument that there’s room for improvement here, and I’m highly optimistic for his future, so let’s get into the video.
What immediately jumps out to me is Trikozov’s puck carrying and how he generates his remarkable offensive transition metrics, with a combination of powerful strides pushing him up the ice, and strong, confident and practical skill to manage pressure and navigate both himself and the puck into open space. There are remarkable edges to escape pressure and use open ice with pace and strong puck protection. The dude just carves through defenses with this combination of speed, skill, and intensity that you can most certainly build on for the next few years. He can pull pucks out of pressure and drive through contested space to earn offensive transitions and did so a tremendous amount. Once in the offensive zone, all of this talent can be chained together with a strong mind for playmaking off the rush. He drives deep into the offensive zone, keeping the puck away from opponents and has the ability to make complex pass attempts into dangerous areas. Sometimes he just simply blows you away with individual ability, attacking the neutral zone with pace, attacking defenders with skill, and finishing in close. Even when his skill doesn’t solve things in tight pressure, he is not one to give up on possession and showed that he could battle and gain secondary possession.
Trikozov isn’t all about doing everything himself either, as I found he was a strong passer through the neutral zone, spotting options and hitting targets accurately to transport pucks efficiently. He spots seams well to set up linemates on the rush, and based on shooting habits we’ll talk about, I’d like to see this more often. He thinks quickly, knows where linemates are, and the angles he’s comfortable passing pucks makes him potentially just as lethal a playmaker as he is a rush quarterback and goal scorer. Quick shoulder checks and strong awareness of space allows him to also make clear pass options well to maintain possession when pressure is on the way.
There’s just so much potential with the combination of his talents and awareness offensively. Oh, and while his ability to shoot in full stride could use some work, this is a difficult thing to nail down at 17 years old at this kind of speed. But at lower pace, Trikozov’s release might be one of the better shots in the draft. So the on-puck offensive toolkit is fantastic at his best, but off the puck, things are a bit murkier and inconsistent, but anyone who tells you Trikozov is offense-only may be missing some potential here, with that strength on the puck coming away from it at times. I love to see wingers high in the defensive zone show signs of relentless and annoying pressure to drive opponents into making decisions rather than reacting when opponents are comfortable.
However, I can absolutely understand how some might not see the same player as I do, as I found that for extended stretches or entire games, Trikozov was taking the foot off the pedal defensively. He had a solid mind for applying pressure but following through like I’ve seen him do at times was really hit or miss, being shaken off puck carriers a little too easily, especially for someone with this kind of skating talent. Just an extra step of consistent work rate could land Trikozov in even more favorable offensive situations coming off board cycles rather than how much rush and off-puck offense I saw. While Trikozov brought great open ice skill at speed, navigating pressure along the boards and keeping the hands quick and evasive was also inconsistent and caused puck losses that felt uncharacteristic.
All the positive individual offense and individual transition results indicate another issue, where I felt that Trikozov was putting a little too much responsibility on his shoulders a little too often, and at times he simply didn’t look like the same player, lacking that characteristic quickness and strength. His passing in the offensive zone was at times sublime, and in transition his vision was also generally strong, but Trikozov had a bit of a tendency to think a little too risky too quickly trying to stretch the ice more than is necessary. Being able to recognize and execute on simpler play rather than challenging at times is a delicate balancing act, and there is a bit of work to do, especially projecting to higher levels for Trikozov to work off linemates a bit more.
The last thing I’ll note is that Trikozov frustratingly showed all the tools to get to dangerous areas, especially on the rush, but of 11 tracked forwards over 40 minutes of 5v5 ice time with 10 individual dangerous shots per 60, Trikozov was 2nd last ahead of Conor Geekie in terms of the percentage of all shot attempts that were dangerous. He’d enter the offensive zone, and while he’s got that quick release, he wouldn’t spot lateral options or create seams to attack the middle at times, and take lower percentage chances off the rush. Granted, in my sample, 9 of his 14 tracked low danger chances occurred in his first three tracked games and the percentage of shot attempts that were dangerous improved from 43.8% to 72%, which may just be a sampling issue, but is worth noting. Again, while there are issues, the results are still very positive, and if all you need is a bit more of a consistent output of what he’s already capable of, it feels like a bit less of a concern in my view.
The Best Part - Diverse Offensive Toolkit
The dude can do it all in the offensive zone. He spots options and seams under pressure or in open ice. He has a clear mindset of getting pucks inside through his passing, both off the rush and spinning off pressure along the boards. While I’d like him getting some more dangerous scoring chances with a bit less distance to the net, the quality of his release is undeniable. Even in his very limited VHL sample from early in the year, Trikozov showed the confidence, skill and creativity in the offensive zone to try to drive results, even if his shot differentials were less than desirable in my tracked game.
The Good Part - Transition Skill
He can burn the opponent with speed, skill, resilience and creativity to drive massive transition numbers and combine all these skills in succession. He follows up when passing off the puck in transition and uses that speed and momentum to make himself a scoring threat. With space, he brings a dynamic flow to the game, surveying the ice and driving possession, quickly getting into gear to challenge defenders. In 4 of 6 MHL games tracked, Trikozov hit an 80% OCZT, and in one other, he hit 75%, and it was for a multitude of reasons that we’ve outlined and with the speed and skill level I’ve seen, I hope this can be leveraged and improved in the future.
The Not-So Good Part - IQ and Intensity Inconsistency
While I had the feeling Trikozov’s physical play improved over the year, some shifts and games made him look like a very different player, and I found myself often wanting just a little bit more, and it could’ve gone a long way. With his speed, he could easily close gaps before the puck exits the offensive zone, and I found he was hesitant, only to toss the player aside in the neutral zone and his team gets the chance to come the other way. I might be nitpicky, but I am never a fan of players who can be caught literally standing still in the defensive zone with how quickly the flow of play can change and how quickly smart offensive players can capitalize on open gaps, and it limits his ability to stop cycles. I definitely believe that these lapses may withhold NHL upside and faith from coaches, but the results, talent and potential is so hard to deny that any improvement over time will be extremely welcome and only indicates his value even further.
What else can I say? Trikozov is one of the few players in this year’s draft that has gotten me excited to sit down and track. He can make tiny, simple offensive zone plays that lead to offense. He can be a ruthless shooter off-puck. He can make plays, even with sticks all over him trying to slow him down. He spots seams and utilizes linemates often to create scoring chances. He can use raw speed, determination and skill to quarterback rushes across both bluelines. There’s certainly tunnel vision at times and would like to see a bit more consistency and responsibility, but this can be worked on. At the same time, the flashes of awareness once the puck is in the offensive zone to quickly execute on dangerous chances is impressive to say the least.
For all the inconsistency, I still will bet on the talent to come out more often, because even without the puck, Trikozov showed the ability to bring his intensity to chasing down puck carriers. His quickness and skill in conjunction at its best can unlock so, so many areas of the game, like off the puck anticipating errant passes and he just kept creeping up and up my list all season long. He’s a 1F for largely being unproven against better competition, even if his Hlinka was strong. I imagine if he were at the U18, we’d be talking a lot more about him. There are consistency issues that could hold him back, there are vision and overconfidence problems that could also limit the chances he gets in the offensive zone, but with time and development, there could be a massive steal for teams willing to take a chance on the young man and surround him with offensive talent.
Final Ratings: Think - 2F, Move - 1C, Get - 2F, Pass - 1C, Shoot - 1C, Overall - 1F