Colorado Avalanche 2016 Draft Profile: German Rubtsov

Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Mikko Rantanen poses with team executives after being selected as the number ten overall pick to the Colorado Avalanche in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Mikko Rantanen poses with team executives after being selected as the number ten overall pick to the Colorado Avalanche in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

The NHL Draft is coming, and our Colorado Avalanche draft profiles will continue to be released in the weeks before the draft. On the docket for today is Russian center German Rubtsov.

The Colorado Avalanche — as almost every fan is aware of at this point — will draft tenth overall in this year’s NHL Draft which will take place on June 24th and 25th at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York.

We’re slamming out the draft profiles for you here at MHS, and today it’s time for another center to be analyzed with due diligence.

First however, here’s the other profiles we have done at MHS so far:

As you can tell, we’ve done quite a few profiles already here at MHS, and I’ve got a good amount more coming your way folks.

There’s also the chance of an Avalanche mock draft in the near future, in which I’d handle the first three selections the Avalanche might take, with one outlier.

Anyway, let’s get back to German Rubtsov who is a huge question mark for this year’s first round selections.

Why is he a huge question mark you may ask? Well, he started the season with strong showings in the Hlinka Memorial Tournament and World Junior A Challenge Tournament, which put him on the radar.

His final showing before the draft was supposed to be the World U18 Championships, but then Russia pulled the entire team on suspicion of substance abuse. So, he’s kind of a wildcard.

Let’s get into some more detail about his statistics.

German Rubtsov Statistics

Position: C

Shoots: L

Height: 6’1″

Weight: 190 pounds

Age: 17 (18 two days after the draft)

Minor Team: Team Russia U18 (MHL)

NHL Player Most Like: Logan Couture

Probability of NHL Success: Likely; within 2-3 years.

The NHL is a league that is very similar to the USDP, in essence they’re both development leagues for young players in their respective countries (United States and Russia).

Rubtsov had a great year in the MHL too, as is easily noted above. He was second overall for the U18’s overall scoring, and also led the team in average points per game (.093).

German Rubtsov Scouting Report

Rubtsov has been noted as atypical for Russian forwards in that he plays a more North American style of game, which is not something Russian forwards are extremely gifted at until they have time to adjust.

Still, Rubtsov also possesses the typical aspects found in European hockey players. He is an explosive skater, with good balance and acceleration, which aid his fluidity in skating.

He’s also a great playmaker with excellent vision and hockey IQ.

Yet where Rubtsov differs is that he plays a 200 foot game, something that Avalanche executives Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic have been pretty adamant about when drafting and acquiring new players for their organization.

Here’s a video of Rubtsov in action:

The Russian Voodoo…

Ok, so the video is not the best quality.

However, it’s easy to see that he protects the puck well, has a great first step leading to even better acceleration and stretch speed, and that his hands are silky smooth for playmaking.

I like the play that starts at around the 2:16 mark of the video because it shows why so many people are high on him: he plays an extremely tenacious and intense 200 foot game.

Finally, he’s considered to be the best two-way forward available in the draft by many scouts, which would make him invaluable to the Colorado Avalanche.

German Rubtsov Potential Fit with the Colorado Avalanche

Here’s the thing — well actually a couple things. First, he’s a center, and the Avalanche are pretty stock full of centers right now barring any astronomical trade over the summer.

Nonetheless, center and wing are probably the Avs’ weakest prospect pools right now.

At center — for players that may develop into formidable NHL talent — the Avs are limited to just J.T. Compher and Mikhail Grigorenko.

The latter is essentially an NHL forward already, and the former is expected to make his NHL debut this coming season.

That means that the Avalanche center crop for prospects is slim, rounding out with J.C. Beaudin, who may turn into a great third-line center, but still has a long way to go.

More from Mile High Sticking

Still, the Avalanche are pretty set in the top-two lines at center for awhile with Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon, and Rubtsov projects to be a second-line center.

Furthermore, Rubtsov is ranked across the board in the 15-20 range, and as low as 24 for this year’s prospects, which would put him at a stretch for the tenth overall pick.

Yet, don’t count him out for it because he’s ranked No. 5 for European skaters, and scouts didn’t get to see what he could do in this year’s World Junior Championship, so they’re final ranking may be incomplete.

Rubtsov could end up being a huge steal for whatever team ends up taking him in the first round, and his two-way game alone should tantalize a lot of NHL teams.

Next: Should the Avalanche Draft a Defenseman in the First Round?

However, the Avalanche are unlikely to select Rubtsov due to the fact that they are chalk full of centers, and because he’s not projected to go before 15 at the earliest.

Finally, the Russian team’s drug problem prior to the World Junior is also something that all NHL teams should be wary of, which also pins Rubtsov as a huge wildcard in this year’s draft.