Today, we transition from an offensive defenseman in Scott Morrow to a defensive defenseman out of Russia in Daniil Chayka. With a big frame (6’3”, 185 lbs), many scouts see the potential for a solid anchor on an NHL team with range in Chayka. However, he hasn’t put up points across junior and senior levels this past season, and his offensive awareness leaves much to be desired. Some view Chayka as the heir-apparent to Chris Pronger, while others see him in a much less desirable way, as evidenced by his wide range of scouting rankings.
BSH 2021 Community Draft Board, No. 29: Daniil Chayka
Team: CSKA Moscow (KHL)
Stats: 1 G, 1 A in 11 GP
No. 5 by NHL Central Scouting (EU Skaters)
No. 19 by TSN (McKenzie)
No. 28 by FC Hockey
No. 39 by Smaht Scouting
What’s there to like?
Chayka has very good defensive instincts. Especially in areas where he can get isolated such as the penalty kill, he almost always makes the correct read. Combined with his already large reach and good skating ability (especially when he’s strafing side-to-side), he will be a great asset in his own zone.
Watching some Daniil Chayka tape. Perfect read here defensively to intercept the puck and clear it on the P.K. Might seem like a simple play but it takes a level of IQ to read the play and commit to the puck instead of covering the player. #2021NHLDraft pic.twitter.com/b40S7M2eHr— John Gove (@PodStreetGove) March 7, 2021
Chayka also has a decent shot from the point that can be useful on the power play. He doesn’t usually unload a huge slap-shot from up top, but likes to flutter through wrist shots to either be deflected, or even score himself.
What’s not to like?
If you don’t like defensively-oriented defenders who aren’t particularly adept at moving the puck, then stay away from Chayka. He doesn’t have the best offensive IQ, and if he’s going to be anything more than a 3rd pair NHL defenseman, he’ll have to improve his playmaking and ability to shift the puck at the blue-line.
Additionally, for a big defenseman, he isn’t nearly as physical as one may think, and he’ll really have to improve his strength.
How would he fit in the Flyers’ system?
The upside with Chayka is that if he is able to put on muscle and become a better offensive player, that he could anchor a blue line for at least a decade. However, in his current stage he would appear to be the new Robert Hagg but slightly better defensively. The Flyers would do well to avoid picking Chayka given that fit.
Could the Flyers actually get him?
He will almost certainly be on the board for the Flyers, and its possible he even goes in the second round.
We’ll also make an addition to the poll:
Samu Tuomaala, RW - Kärpät
“A two-way scoring winger who loves to shoot. Tuomaala possesses the skill and puck handling ability to be a valuable transition player with the ability to distribute the puck when he wants to. He will need to diversity his attack a bit to reach his full potential but he has all of the tools to do it.” - Tony Ferrari, Dobber Prospects
Who should be 30th on the draft board?
This poll is closed
- Owen Power — D, University of Michigan (NCAA)
- Matthew Beniers — C, University of Michigan (NCAA)
- Brandt Clarke — D, Nove Zamky (Slovakia)
- Dylan Guenther — LW/RW, Edmonton (WHL)
- William Eklund — C/LW, Djurgårdens IF (SHL)
- Luke Hughes — D, US NTDP (USHL) and US National U18 (USDP)
- Simon Edvinsson — D, Frölunda HC J20 / J20 Nationell - 21/22
- Kent Johnson — W, University of Michigan (NCAA)
- Aatu Räty — C, Kärpät U20 and Kärpät (Liiga)
- Jesper Wallstedt — G, Luleå (SHL)
- Mason McTavish — C, EHC Olten (SL)
- Cole Sillinger — C/LW, Sioux (USHL)
- Chaz Lucius — C, US NTDP (USHL) and US National U18 (USDP)
- Fabian Lysell — LW/RW, Luleå HF (SHL)
- Carson Lambos — D, JYP U20 (U20 SM-sarja)
- Matthew Coronato — F, Chicago Steel (USHL)
- Nikita Chibrikov — LW/RW, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL), SKA-Neva St. Petersburg (VHL), SKA-1946 St. Petersburg (MHL)
- Sasha Pastujov — LW, US NTDP (USHL) and US National U18 (USDP)
- Corson Ceulemans — D, Brooks Bandits (AJHL)
- Oskar Olausson — LW/RW, HV71 (SHL)
- Brennan Othmann — LW, EHC Olten (SL)
- Logan Stankoven — C/W, Kamloops (WHL)
- Zachary L’Heureux — LW, Halifax (QMJHL)
- Zachary Bolduc — C/W, Rimouski (QMJHL)
- Simon Robertsson — RW - Skellefteå AIK (SHL)
- Xavier Bourgault — C/RW, Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL)
- Sebastian Cossa — G, Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
- Scott Morrow — D, Shattuck St. Mary’s (USHS Prep)
- Daniil Chayka — D, CSKA Moscow (KHL)