Wednesday, June 15, 2011

E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120: Alexander Khokhlachev #24

By Eldon MacDonald

24. Alexander Khokhlachev - “Koco Loco” - C/LW - Russia

Vitals: Size - 5’10”, 183 lb.; Shoots left; Born: 9-Sep-93 Moscow, RUS
Team: Windsor, OHL
2010-11 Stats: 67-34-42-76-28-(+9) + OHL playoffs 18-9-11-20-8-(+11)
13 - The Hockey News per TSN
16 - Cory Pronman's Top 100
21 - Dean Millard -The Pipeline Show Top 30
23 - ISS per TSN
24 - hfboards Readers’ Poll
24 - E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120
26 - Kirk Luedeke's Top 50
29 - The Scouting Report's Top 100 Skaters
31 - Future Considerations Final Rankings
34 - NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings (29th North American skater)
34 - Christopher Ralph's Top 210
44 - Bob MacKenzie's June Poll of Scouts
Draft result:
40 - Boston Bruins

Austin Powers (aka Mike Myers) has the best description of Alexander Khokhlachev’s game when he issues his trademark phrase, “Yeah, baby”!!! Yeah baby, when Koco Loco is on, come for the show, stay for the celebration and a big celebration there will be. Koco plays a hard-nosed, feisty North American game with elite European skills. Koco will go to the net with great balls of fire and will continue to hang around and take the abuse if his first attempt is not successful. He also exerts notable effort on the forecheck and the backcheck. Now you add those European skills and you are starting to talk about a real high-end NHL prospect. His European skills include elite skating (acceleration and agility), shooting (especially his wrister), passing (NHL), stickhandling (oh, baby) and most importantly a real scoring touch. Then you take the North American game together with the European skills and add an elite hockey vision and now you can start to see why many people are exited about this prospect.

As for negatives, there are probably two that are worth mentioning:
  1. Strength - Koco currently loses too many battles because of the size and strength issue. However as one of the youngest players in the draft, there is plenty of time to solve this issue.
  2. Consistency - The major area that concerns me is that sometimes you try to watch Koco and he just isn’t there. However, he did bring it in the playoffs - leading all OHL rookies with 20 points in18 games so I don’t believe it is an issue that can’t be corrected.
As for the rankings, Bob MacKenzie’s poll was taken before Koco had his monster January so I would be very surprised if he wasn’t a lot higher in MacKenzie’s final rankings. As for the other rankings (11 to 34), they tend to cluster around late first round, which is where I have him at 24.


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