Golden Knights select center Ivan Morozov with 61st pick of NHL Draft
Vegas’ first draft pick of 2018 is on a Russian center who looks like a really good scorer.
The Vegas Golden Knights used their first selection of the 2018 NHL Draft, No. 61, on Russian center Ivan Morozov from Mamonty Yugry of the MHL.
Morozov, 18, scored 23 points in 30 games last season with Mamonty Yugry. He also scored 10 goals in 14 games for Russia’s Under-18 team. He’s was traded to SKA 1946 — St. Petersburg on May 1.
“Ivan Morozov has been very noticeable both in the MHL and for Russia U18 NT with his skillset and 200-foot game, which makes me think that he will be picked somewhere in the mid part of the draft and rather higher than lower,” according to Russian Prospects.
A first look at Morozov, which is just some highlights on Twitter, is he’s a solid two-way player with a knack for scoring. This short-handed goal in an Under-18 game against Switzerland showcases Morozov’s 200-foot game, which has to be a welcoming sight for the Golden Knights’ coaching staff.
#WJAC: Russia leads Switzerland 2-0 after 20 thanks to this SHG by two-way center Ivan Morozov (Ranked No. 110) & a seeing-eye shot on the PP by LHD Nikita Okhotyuk (2019 Draft). pic.twitter.com/krcYd31e4h— Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) December 12, 2017
He’s also got some quick hands, or it could be because the goaltender is really slow. You be the judge.
Watch the hands of Ivan Morozov, as he steals the puck and goes solo in today's MHL play-off action. #2018NHLDraft pic.twitter.com/n2hrsLJQD8— Russian Prospects (@RUSProspects) March 11, 2018
Early returns show the Golden Knights got a solid prospect here at 18 years old. Vegas can stash him in Russia for a while and let him develop these skills that look promising. It was a late start for the Golden Knights, but it looks like a good start.