Photo Credit: Avangard Omsk
Scouting Report written by Josh Tessler
Gleb Trikozov (Глеб Трикозов) is a 2022 NHL Draft eligible prospect, who hails from Omsk, Russia.
Trikozov is a member of the Avangard Omsk farm system and has played his entire youth career with the club. The majority of his play over the last two seasons has been in the MHL for Avangard Omsk’s affiliate Omskie Yastreby. In addition, this season, he made his VHL debut for the Avangard Omsk’s affiliate Omskie Krylia. For those who are unfamiliar with the Russian leagues, the KHL is the top-level of play. KHL clubs have affiliations with VHL and MHL teams. The VHL is the minor league in Russia. The MHL is junior hockey.
Trikozov has also represented Russia at the International level / IIHF play and was featured on Russia’s gold medal winning 2021 Hlinka Gretzky squad.
D.O.B – August 12, 2004
Nationality – Russia
Draft Eligibility – 2022
Weight –185 lbs
Position – Center/Right Wing
Handedness – Right
Trikozov’s Style Of Play
From an offensive positioning perspective, should his teammate get stuck in a puck battle along the boards on the other side of the ice behind the red line, Trikozov shifts over closer to offer an open passing lane. When a teammate is running the cycle behind the red line, he’ll skate towards the slot, complete a t-stop when he is in position for the teammate to use the passing lane and then bends his knees / completes his weight transfer. The t-stop enables him to get in position for the one-timer attempt.
When it comes to forechecking, Trikozov will go for loose pucks in the corners. Yet, he is not as aggressive to the puck carrier as he is in the neutral zone. You will see him skate into the offensive zone to engage in loose puck battles, but he can be slow and sluggish. I want him to be faster and more aggressive to the puck carrier in the offensive zone to attempt to keep the puck alive in the offensive zone. But, nonchalant forechecking is the norm in the MHL. Even though he is nonchalant, He has the speed to be involved and in pace on the forecheck, but doesn’t follow through. In the VHL level, he seemed to be far more aggressive at the red line and in the corners. It’s night and day when you compare it to MHL play.
At times, I will question his puck movement. Instead of going towards the corner when he’s got an open lane to the corner with traffic blocking entry to the slot, he’ll drop back towards the blue line and complete a backhand pass to a teammate bursting into the zone. It’s not the best option for puck movement, but it certainly isn’t the worst. In addition, there are moments where he waits too long with the puck and gives up opportunities to complete a centered pass to the slot when he is facing close pressure and had an open teammate in the slot.
One of the areas that needs to be addressed is his ability is to capture pucks off of passes cleanly but routinely. The puck comes close to his stick blade, but it becomes a challenge to trap the puck. When passes come too short and doesn’t align with stick blade, he will look to trap the puck with his skates, but even then sometimes he can’t trap the puck with his skates. In addition, I would like him to work on capturing the puck from a pass but closer to the shaft rather than the toe of his stick blade. I say that because when he does a one touch collect pass and shoot from medium or low danger, his shots go too wide.
Even though sometimes he does have puck control issues with puck capture, Trikozov has excellent reach and good stick-handling. He manages to play the puck further out to his left, far enough that the defender couldn’t prevent Gleb from skating around him. That allows him to go to net front to go one on one with the opposing goaltender. But, Trikozov has other plays in his offensive stick-handling playbook. He can be pretty nifty at stick-handling with traffic glued in on him. Trikozov will extend the puck further out, then button hook and play the puck away from the attacker. When a second attacker comes into the picture, he passes to the point.
But, there is more to mention when it comes to Trikozov’s stick-handling ability. He is highly efficient at stick-handling around traffic along the boards. Trikozov positions the puck as close to the boards as possible to control possession. In addition, while it is clear that there are moments in which he can struggle with capturing the puck off a slightly wide pass, he can then grab those pucks with ease in other situations. He is just inconsistent with his puck capturing skills. But, he can net possess a decent amount of the time. You will see him extend his stick out to trap the puck and then windmills around two attackers in the slot to get to net-front.
When it comes to his passing ability, there is a lot to like about Gleb. He uses his vision extremely well to identify tight passing lanes to exploit. Sees an attacker coming at him and a defenseman (teammate) skating up to the perimeter and then fires a well-timed pass. Trikozov likes to pass through the triangle (between the attacker’s leg and the stick blade) and looks to do so when behind the red line and he has an attacker extending his stick out towards him. Finds the gap and completes a pass to the perimeter. Passing through the triangle is a great way to get the puck a teammate no matter the situation, but its a great tool to have in your arsenal when you can’t seem to find a better avenue to the slot. If Trikozov is wrapping the net, sometimes he does struggle with identify the ideal passing lane to the slot. That leads to giving up possession to the slot. Even though he will struggle with connecting with a teammate in the slot, he likes to be flashy and deceptive and try through the legs or behind the back passes to the slot. In the corner when he has an attacker on him, but had an open man along the half-wall, he dished a saucer over the attacker’s stick to get the puck to his teammate. So, there are also plenty of instances where he look to pass above the triangle and catch the attacker completely off guard. When Trikozov is running the point on the power play, he likes to raise his stick like he is about to a take shot and then deceptively pass the puck to his teammate along the perimeter with him or to the slot. If he is looking for to complete a cross ice feed, you can count on Trikozov to complete that pass.
But, like every player, there are moments where he will have difficulty completing a pass. When he struggles to complete a pass to the slot and it ricocheted off the attack, he problem solves at once, retains the puck, drops towards the corner and delivers a bounce pass along the boards to his teammate in the trapezoid on the other side of the net.
Not only does he problem solve, but he completes a lot of dangerous passes to the slot. I recently was looking at Will Scouch’s (Scouching.ca) data and it indicated that Trikozov was one of the stronger dangerous passing prospects in the 2022 NHL Draft class. At this point in the season (as of December 29, 2021), his numbers are comparable to Shane Wright, Cutter Gauthier and Alexander Suzdalev.
If you look at his shot under a microscope, he can be inconsistent with his shooting ability. He will be right in front of the net but can’t get a backhand shot on net, instead it goes wide. You will notice that he tends to attempt backhand shots with the puck too close to his body. Yet, he will still pounce the net and have success on re-directing shots and picking up rebounds to score quickly-timed tip-in goals.
When shooting from range, he needs to work on weight transfer and pushing his body forward towards the knee on one-timer attempts. But, even if his one-timers lack the power that he is looking for, he does a good job of getting pucks on net and that allows for rebound assists for Trikozov. Trikozov will also struggle with getting pucks on net when shooting on the rush. I have noticed that Trikozov is often deployed on the left side when his club is up a man and he does seem to be stronger like plenty of players on their wrong side with their one-timers.
In the defensive zone, he needs to work on utilizing an active stick when defending on puck carriers. If he is slightly too far away in the defensive zone, he extends out his stick to the puck carrier’s knees to try to annoy him but it isn’t effective. It can be irritating, but it doesn’t do that much in terms of prevent defense.
While he does struggle with an active stick that probably has more to do with playing in the MHL more than anything. When Trikozov is playing in MHL games, he does a lot of gliding. He does a lot of observing and watching from centered ice. Parks himself on the perimeter to patrol the point and the half-wall, but I wouldn’t call him intimidating in the defensive zone. Again, it is like night and day when you compare it to this VHL play. When defending in the VHL, his defense is slightly stronger and keeps good pace with the attacker in the slot to eliminate the passing lane.
When opening up breakout passing lanes, he tends to skate up centered ice in the defensive zone and wait at the blue line for a pass. But, there are a lot of pass attempts in which he struggles with netting possession of the puck with his stick blade. Like in the offensive and neutral zones, he’ll net possession of pucks on breakout passes that are slightly off target and behind his stick blade, by trapping them with his skate blades. But, only works some of the time.
If he isn’t at the blue line, but does net open ice and gains possession of the puck off of a breakout pass, he will complete plenty of a cross ice lateral feed that lead to zone exits. Similarly, to his passing in the offensive and neutral zones, Trikozov will look to pass above the attackers stick or below the attackers stick when looking to complete a zone exit pass. Also, it worth mentioning that Trikozov likes to be quick with his breakout passes and will attempt one touch breakout passes from the defensive zone face-off circle to the blue line.
When playing at both the VHL and MHL levels, the neutral zone is where he plays the most aggressive. He will spot an attacker skating freely along the half-wall and starts to skate towards him to cut him off from entering centered ice. Once he gets into full speed, he’ll throw a shoulder check to disrupt the rush once in the defensive zone. But, it’s the neutral zone where he garners the necessary speed and decides to chase down the attacker.
While he is stronger in the neutral zone defensively, for a decent amount of rush attempts, he just faces the attack in the neutral zone, but doesn’t really try to extend his stick out towards the carrier and lets the attack move the puck around with ease. When skating from behind the attack, he extends his stick out towards the opponent’s stick to irritate him, but no change in possession.
If he is skating behind the attack, but there is a change in possession, he’ll complete a tight turn with leaned on edges to help facilitate the tight turn and then find open ice upon center ice to key up a passing lane.
Like in the other zones, his puck control and puck security can be slightly inconsistent. When skating up the ice from zone to zone, he will try to extend the puck further out but has difficulty securing puck control with his backhand, but does well with his forehand. If he is aiming to shift around an attacker, he will try to wind-mill and thread the puck threw the attacker’s legs as he approaches the offensive zone blue line, but he has a difficult time to pushing the puck far enough through the legs to capture possession of the puck once he gets past the attacker. When completing wind-mills, he needs to be cautious of how far he plays the puck along the stick blade, if it’s to close to toe of the stick blade it becomes a challenge for him to complete the wind-mill.
But there are moments in which his stick-handling and puck control are truly dynamic when Trikozov is skating through the neutral zone. Trikozov has excellent one-handed stick-handling that allows him to play the puck out wide and far from the attacker when turning and then skating through neutral zone. He has plenty of instances where he navigates the puck around the attacker, gets good separation and charges into the neutral zone. While he has proven that he can stick-handler with ease one on one with an attacker, there certainly are situations where stick-handling around pressure is far more daunting. But, Trikozov is up for the challenge. The Russian prospect has good problem solving ability in the neutral zone. When dealing with three attackers in isolation along the blue line, instead of driving in and hoping to get enough separation after a zone entry, he cuts through the attack, pivots around a fourth attacker and then completes a lateral zone entry pass to a forward skating up through the zone.
I love his problem solving ability in transition. It’s reminds me of Matthew Beniers and Brad Lambert in transition. Trikozov runs into trouble in the neutral zone, button hooks to confuse the attacker and to slow the attacker down, doubles back around with excellent crossovers and a fluid stride. By doing so, it allows him to complete a controlled zone entry without much pressure.
When he looks to pass in the neutral zone, he looks for passing lanes in a similar fashion to his passing lane observation skills in the offensive and defensive zones. When facing an attacker who has extended his stick as he closes in, Trikozov looks to pass through the triangle (the attackers’ triangle between his stick blade and his legs) when skating on the rush in the neutral zone.
When evaluating Trikozov’s crossovers, you will notice that he has solid crossover length. But, I would like to see him use crossovers when moving laterally, especially in the defensive zone. Instead of deploying crossovers, he plants one leg and completes short skate extensions to push himself from east to west. That is a slower approach to moving laterally and will not allow him to put pressure on a faster attacker.
When he does complete a crossover, afterwards he will extend his skate but then sometimes struggle on the recovery to align the skates and that hurts his ability to keep good posture and balance.
When he’s just gliding around and going at a much slower pace, he’ll use crossovers but they net zero acceleration. It’s just to turn his body.
When deploying edges, he does a good job leaning on his edges. But, if he is completing a tight turn in the offensive zone, he will occasionally struggle on his inside edge. Instead of using an inside edge, he deploys an outside edge and that forced him to lose balance and control of the puck. There are also situations in which Trikozov leans slightly too far in when deploying his edges on a turn behind the red line in the offensive zone. By leaning too far, that hurts his mobility.
Speaking of mobility and skate placement, I would like Trikozov to work on stopping. He has proven that he can complete fluid t-stops, but there are a few sequences in which he will try to stop with his feet way too far apart at net-front when looking to take a shot a net-front and an attacker is right on him. That hurts his mobility and doesn’t allow him to get a quality shot off or leads to him losing his balance.
When you look at his straight line skating mechanics. He does need to work on his posture and lowering his body when looking to generate speed. But, he does have solid ankle flexion and good power stride extensions when driving up the ice. It allows him to keep pace with puck movement especially on 2-on-1s.
When I watch Trikozov, I come away entertained after each and every game. He reminds me so much of San Jose Sharks prospect Daniil Gushchin. Will he blow you away with his defensive play? There are times, but it’s not consistent. But, where he does shine is in the neutral and offensive zones. His stick-handling ability will improve and he will be a pain in the rear for attackers who struggle to defend against flashy stick-handling. Trikozov can carry his own line and has proven at the MHL level that he is slightly under matched. There are games where he doesn’t exert aggression and play tight to the vest hockey on the forecheck, but has shown that he has the speed and the capability to do so at the VHL level. The KHL level is next on the horizon and I look forward to seeing what Avangard Omsk will get at the KHL level with Trikozov.
If everything goes according to plan, I feel confident that you are getting an impact top six forward with Trikozov at the NHL level. He is a prospect who I would bet on at the 2022 NHL Draft.
December 30, 2021
stats from Scouching.ca, InStat and EliteProspects
Prospect report written by Josh Tessler. If you would like to follow Josh on Twitter, his handle is @JoshTessler_.
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