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Nikita Artamonov



Skating:

He's not the fastest skater, but Artamonov is good at speeding up his game with the puck, managing good bursts in transition for strong scoring chances. Graham Montgomery in Dobber's November Ranking mention on Artamonov's skating "His strong work ethic allows him to overcome an inefficient stride that ultimately limits his top speed.", which is a correct analysis, although I think he has the ability to speed up his game when needed.


Passing/Handling:

Strong playmaker who can use his speed to create passing chances in transition, but his best passing comes from utilizing his teammates to create a heavy passing game in opposing defensive zones. He's quite confident with the puck, rarely making mistakes, and a plus that it's in the KHL.


Shooting:

He's more of a playmaker than a shooter but Artamonov has a decent shot release and with his speed is able to quickly escape defenders and get his shot off securely. Artamonov can get shot attempts from a few different areas, he doesn't have a certain spot he seems to prefer. Many of his shot attempts come from playing the puck through his teammates, and not much from self-creation. It would be good if he can eventually create more chances by himself in the future.


IQ (Vision, Anticipation, Panic/Poise):

He's shown a lot of comfort against men with little panic and quick thinking on the ice, especially with the puck. Of course, playing for Torpedo has helped him find ice time, but it's the maturity that has been able to make Artamonov stick. He has good awareness and scanning abilities both with the puck and in terms of positioning on both sides.


Forechecking:

Decent forecheck pressure. He isn't overly dominant physically so he focuses more on being difficult to defend against with his stick, constantly trapping opponents and taking risks for puck retrievals.


Defense:

Artamonov plays decent defense. He's not overly physical but is willing to compete for pucks and attempt forechecks needed of a winger. I think it's an area he can improves on as he matures more to pro Hockey.


Best Asset:

Although he's not as flashy or menacing as Anton Silayev, who at 6'7 is difficult not to be, I'd argue Artamonov is the more consistent of the 2 Torpedo prospects, and fits more the mold of a modern NHLer with his strong skating, two-way ability & Hockey IQ. I think he's perhaps more well-rounded than having a standout skill, but if anything can be said that's best about him it's his intensity and hustle, he's constantly working and pressuring, a strong trait for one of the youngest players in the KHL right now.


Biggest Concern:

There isn't much about Artamonov that really stands out above anyone. He's a jack-of-all-trades but is there something he can make to stand out? The fact he is playing for a prospect-friendly team in Torpedo will have some questions over whether or not he's the product of a beneficial environment or an actual top prospect. The same question I asked about Lenni Hämeenaho last season, and he seems to have proven it wasn't just luck, but if he and Silayev are truly the best from this Russian crop is still up in the air.


Top Tier/Role Potential:

Middle-six forward with 15-20 Goals and 45-50 PTS at his best. Potential for 50-60 at his best with more emphasis on goalscoring along with a good defensive game and PP minutes.


Justification for Top Tier Assessment:

Artamonov is on a very prospect friendly team in Torpedo that has done well adjusting him to the KHL. If he continues to show improvements to his game, he can become a strong second-line winger, but will need to score more to do so.


50th Percentile Tier/Role:

Middle-six winger closer to the third line with the potential for 2nd PP minutes. Potential for 40-45 PTS with double digit goals.


Justification for 50th Percentile Tier Assessment:

Artamonov has the defensive capabilities to play a bottom-six role, and could be a good playmking compliment for a goal-scoring bottom-six forward to utilize his game.


Stylistic Comparable:

I can see a bit of Joonas Donskoi but with the potential for more Assists 15/30/45


Scouts Final Thoughts and Additional Stats/Info:

I think Artamonov can be a first round pick, and I see him as safer as Silayev, but being a smaller forward with just above average stats for his age, he may fall to the early 2nd, but I think there's a lot of potential for Artamonov to be a candidate for a massive growth in his DY+1.


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