Since my last CHL prospects update (on Nov. 30th), there have been three positive developments. First, Martin Gernat, one of the Oilers top defensive prospects, is now healthy and has played in 21 games for the Oil Kings. Second, Tobias Rieder, after a very slow start, is now putting up solid offensive numbers for Kitchener (though he did recently miss some time because of some minor injuries suffered in a car accident). Finally, Daniil Zharkov, like Rieder, has rebounded nicely after a disappointing beginning to the season.
Let’s take a closer look at Zharkov. The Russian has been blessed with size (6’4″, 212) and skill. He also doesn’t lack self-confidence. At the 2012 NHL Draft, he said, “It’s my goal to be better than Yakupov.” So it must have been extremely disappointing to him (not to mention fans of the Bulls and Oilers) that his 2012-13 season began so poorly. His offensive totals from September to the end of 2012 were a meager 8 goals and 3 assists in 30 games. Much more was expected from Zharkov after he produced 23 goals and 14 assists in 2011-12.
In December, Zharkov was given a spot on the Russian World Junior team, which came as a surprise to many. Playing in the WJHC seems to have given him a much-need boost. Since returning to Belleville in January, his season has turned around. In 20 games, he has recorded 13 goals and 11 assists, giving Oilers fans more optimism that Zharkov might one day have success in the NHL.
Below are this season’s totals for all of the Oilers CHL prospects.
Daniil Zharkov (LW) – Belleville Bulls
Drafted 91st overall in 2012
50 GP / 21 G / 14 A / 35 PTS / +14 / 18 PIM
Mitch Moroz (LW) – Edmonton Oil Kings
Drafted 32nd overall in 2012
62 GP / 11 G / 20 A / 31 PTS / +21 / 132 PIM
Travis Ewanyk (C) – Edmonton Oil Kings
Drafted 74th overall in 2011
51 GP / 8 G / 14 A / 22 PTS / +22 / 115 PIM
Tobias Rieder (RW) – Kitchener Rangers
Drafted 114th overall in 2011
45 GP / 25 G / 22 A / 47 PTS / +11 / 12 PIM
David Musil (D) – Vancouver Giants
Drafted 31st overall in 2011
55 GP / 9 G / 19 A / 28 PTS / +26 / 67 PIM
Martin Gernat (D) – Edmonton Oil Kings
Drafted 122nd overall in 2011
21 GP / 1 G / 10 A / 11 PTS / +6 / 14 PIM