Monday, 17 December 2012

Player Profile: Nikita Korostelev (Toronto Jr. Canadiens)

Nikita Korostelev
Toronto Jr. Canadiens
Year of Birth: 1997

Nikita Korostelev is testament to the range of improvement that can occur from the Bantam age group to Minor Midget. Korostelev seemed out of place at times last year playing with the 1996 Vaughan Kings but seems to have discovered how to better utilize his strengths as a forward. Not the fastest skater on the ice, nor the most agile, Korostelev has good balance making it difficult to separate him from the puck. Innate hockey sense allows Korostelev to visualize puck advancement along the length of the ice and this somewhat offsets his limited speed. Time spent on the power play is highly efficient as Korostelev uses one touch passes and rapid execution to move the puck while wielding a powerful one-time slap shot from the top of the face-off circle.  A right-handed shooter, his wrist shot and snap shot may be the hardest in the age group making him effective in open ice, yet Korostelev will not shy away from going to the slot or creating his own space. Korostelev displays strong puck skills, retrieving the disc from his feet and shielding it well in traffic while attempting near 90 degree turns into the slot to place a shot. Not surprisingly, Korostelev likely has one of the higher scoring chances / shift ratios among his peers. Improvements to his edges and 1st steps will likely vault Korostelev to the next level. Korostelev will find success at the next level lined up alongside a strong playmaking centre.
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