2021 Raw Charge Top 25 under 25s: # 15 Maxim Groshev
Maxim Groshev is an interesting study on the expectations of draft picks. He was drafted in the third round of the 2020 edition NHL Draft and is a decent great skating forward. What he doesn’t appear to be is a goalscorer. As you can see from his stats last season, in 35 KHL games he has only scored one goal. Granted, he was an 18/19 year old who played in the top Russian professional league, but you could still hope for more than one goal from him.
Groshev is, in all respects, a hard worker who is responsible in his own area. He skates well and uses his height (6’1 ”, 192 lbs) to protect the puck when he has it. He’s surprisingly quick and likes to generate an attack out of the race. He performs front chess fairly well and uses his body to create turnovers in the offensive zone. The youngster can put the puck on goal with a pretty heavy shot, but he won’t beat a lot of goaltenders from a distance.
He’s not really going to lead on offense on his own, but he’ll be a good complementary player who plans to be a mid-to-six forward in the NHL. From what has been said about him and the highlights that have been generated so far, it looks like he will do quite well as a defensive forward / penalty killer.
Last November he signed a three-year contract with SKA St. Petersburg, so he’ll likely be around for at least one more season, and longer if they don’t make some sort of transfer. It may not be a bad thing. Even though he plays all three seasons, he is still relatively young and has reportedly racked up several seasons in one of the most competitive professional leagues in the world.
As you can see from this goal, Groshev’s acceleration is a bit more than the opposing defender expected. He then uses his body to protect the puck as he pulls it to his backhand and passes it past the goalie.
Here he wins a battle along the boards in the offensive zone, then moves to the center of the ice (again, keeping his body between the puck and his opponent) and tears a straight backhand at the net. It was a nice little gesture to find the open space and get the hang of it. Overall, despite spending most of the time on the fourth row during the Junior Worlds, he’s had a pretty solid tournament and has shown what Lightning fans can expect from him.
Here is one more.
Do you know who the offense is who loves long passes? The Tampa Bay Lightning.
Groshev could be one of those players who sees his offensive production jump when he joins the Lightning or Crunch. They like to build their offense off of solid defense and that’s what it provides. Ben Groulx or Jon Cooper could give him some more ice time due to his diligence and with the right teammates he could rack up a few assists or find himself in a good position to pocket a few easy goals. Think of him as a middle class Ondrej Palat.
The best thing for him this season is doing the regular rotation for SKA St. Petersburg and playing regular minutes in their roster. The good news is that he has appeared in one game this season so far and has already collected an assist.