Sunday, July 31, 2011

Daniil Zharkov

Daniil Zharkov - Belleville Bulls

6'3" - 195 Lbs
D.O.B. February 6, 1994

Daniil Zharkov joined the Tri City Storm of the USHL after the Christmas break last season following his time with Yaroslavl Locomotivs and then the St. Petersburg Silver Lions in his home country of Russia. He recorded 8 goals and 11 assists, along with 27 penalty minutes in 36 games for the Storm.

The Bulls used the 13th overall pick in the CHL Import Draft to select Zharkov.

"He played in a predominantly 19- and 20-year-old league last year and from a cultural standpoint he has been North-Americanized so there are some huge pluses in knowing what to expect. All reports we've received are positive. He has size, skill — it's a good fit." Bulls GM/Coach George Burnett said.

Asked if Zharkov would report to Belleville, Burnett replied, "Absolutely. You're never quite sure until the kid walks in the door but this young man is no secret. There has been zero inference that he's undecided. He came over last year and he wants to play."

Zharkov possesses great size and a willingness to use it. He is an average skater, something that he will have to work on. The left shooting forward prefers to play on his off wing. If he can work on his skating he'll be able to use that to power through or past defenders. 

Zharkov is more of a finisher then a playmaker. His success will come playing with a set up man who can feed him the puck. He has decent puck handling skills but it's his drive to the net and ability to finish that will make him successful.

His defensive commitment and skill need a lot of work. But playing under George Burnett, who requires you to play at both ends of the rink, should provide Zharkov with the tools he needs to compete defensively.

Zharkov has international experience. He has played for Russia in both the Under U18 and U16 tournaments. There are some that believe Zharkov could be a first round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and others that believe he will be a top 120 pick. It all depends on the work Zharkov puts in to improve his game and his willingness to learn the defensive game. He's shown a commitment by staying in the US this summer to work on everything from skating to adding bulk, mostly in LA and Philadelphia.

Good friend Jerome Berube from Hockey Draft Video put this compilation together on Zharkov. Jerome has more video than one can dream of so give it a look !

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