The 2021/22 season is fast approaching, so here at Five For Howling, we’re taking a look at this year’s Arizona Coyotes 25 best players under the age of 25.
The Arizona Coyotes had three picks during the second round of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. With their original pick, 43rd overall, the Coyotes drafted Russian forward Ilya Fedotov.
20/21 League: Russia U18 (Torepedo Nizhny Novgorod U18), KHL (Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod), MHL (Chaika Nizhny Novgorod)
Games played: 4, 2, 54
Goals: 5, 0, 18
Assists: 7, 0, 20
Highest rating: 12
Lowest rating: 21
Last year’s rankings: Not rated
Fedotov was the first player on this list who was drafted in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, making him one of the younger players. As a Russian player who has not seen any international competition, he is difficult to evaluate, contributing to the wide range of rankings by the Five For Howling staff.
Earlier this month, Corey Pronman ranked Fedotov as the Coyotes’ seventh-best prospect, noting that “[Fedotov’s] a strong skater with a very high skill level who can be dangerous off the rush with his speed and reach, getting around defenders often.”
But Fedotov isn’t just all skill. At 6’1”, 176 pounds, he probably needs to add some muscle, but he is already a physical player. The EliteProspects Draft Guide may have said it best when they said, “[h]e is not content just going shoulder to shoulder to shove opponents away from the puck; he outright rams them, leaving them flat on the ice wondering what kind of train hit them.”
The Coyotes lacked both skill and physicality for the past few seasons, and Fedotov seems to have the potential to bring both.
Unlike most people who will appear on this list, Fedotov is already back skating. As of this article’s publication, he has played three games in the KHL and one in the MHL. He has yet to record a point in the KHL, but he did record a goal and an assist in his game in the MHL.
The Coyotes had to see potential in Fedotov, drafting him mid-way through the second when there were still notable names on board. Scouting reports reasons for excitement, but it is going to take time before Fedotov develops.