With the 35th pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, the Bobby To Bergy Draft Team takes… Sault St. Marie Greyhound left wing Boris Katchouk.
Katchouk, a Canadian-born Russian (I think that just makes him a Canadian, but who am I to judge?), is a pretty safe choice. He’s about average size – 6’1, 185 – but he’s never afraid to use his body, whether it’s to gain possession on defense, to protect the puck on offense, or to protect his teammates with his fists. Katchouk put up decent numbers for the Soo in the OHL this season — 24 goals and 51 points in 63 games — and he made Canada’s WJC squad, but drafting him in hopes that he’ll become a key player in your offense probably isn’t a great idea. That said, Katchouk does have some impressive offensive skills, but he seldom shows off the flashy stuff, because he’s just not that kind of guy. Boris is not exactly a risk taker, unlike another Boris you might have heard of.
He’s sneaky quick — zero to sixty in no time, and he stops on a dime — and he’s also got a fantastic shot. If the Boriscuda does decide to show off his flashy side, you’d better watch out.
“Why would the Bruins draft Boris Katchouk,” you ask?
Well, he’s a solid, safe choice. Katchouk can play all over your lineup. He’s defensively responsible. He’s intense. He’s an energy guy. Katchouk has no problem playing a checking role, but with good development, it’s not crazy to think he could play top six in the NHL. He’s also a teammate of occasionally-maligned-but-one-of-my-favorites Bruins first rounder Zach Senyshyn, so we can assume the Bruins have seen a lot of Katchouk.
Elite Prospects take on Katchouk:
Katchouk is a well rounded forward with decent size and good offensive instincts. He does everything well, but not one thing great. He has a good speed and generates a good amount of offense, he is not overly physical, but will also not shy away. He had a coming out party on a young Greyhounds team and played consistently well all season long. He had a very good first round series against the Sarnia Sting, in what was a huge upset.
Some Twitter thoughts on Boris the Beast:
Love the Katchouk add. Plug and play versatile player who impacts every shift. https://t.co/GVmCiw9Qtt
— Brendan Ross (@RossyYoungblood) April 18, 2016
Putting Katchouk and Tkachuk on the same team? Good luck play-by-play guys! https://t.co/jiUm21AQgA
— Chris Croucher (@CroucherSports) January 8, 2016
Boris Katchouk is a player you just hate to play against. Comes at you with constant tenacity
— Brendan Ross (@RossyYoungblood) August 1, 2014
Boris Katchouk finishes off the play for Red after starting it with an impressive solo rush. Just has that energy and drive u can’t teach
— Andrew Sykes (@ASykes_7) August 1, 2014
Salinitri with thrive in the Soo’s system, he can play top 9. You win with players like Katchouk. Sounds like Gettinger will be there too.
— Sean Lafortune (@SeanLafortune) April 6, 2014