Montreal Canadiens: 21-Year-Old Bogdan Konyushkov Captaining KHL Squad

Torpedo Hockey Club player, Bogdan Konyushkov (6) seen in...
Torpedo Hockey Club player, Bogdan Konyushkov (6) seen in... / SOPA Images/GettyImages
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Montreal Canadiens prospect Bogdan Konyushkov continues to impress the team that drafted him and his current team in the Kontinental Hockey League.

Konyushkov, 21, was drafted in the fourth round of the 2022 NHL Draft, and as an overager, he was overlooked until the Habs selected him 110th overall. The Penza, Russia native was reportedly named captain of his club - Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod. He is also on pace to best his previous season totals.

A somewhat less talented group of defenders in comparison to their counterpart left-shot defenders, the right side has grown considerably. Konyushkov joins David Reinbacher and Logan Mailloux as the top three right-shot defenders of the future for the Canadiens. With Daniil Sobolev in the Ontario Hockey League with the Owen Sound Attack, the Habs have accumulated a decent group.

It's hard to provide analysis on Konyushkov's game since there is very little tape or game highlights. He seems to be ahead of the rest of the group, in terms of development. I see him as less talented defensively than Reinbacher and he seems to have a strong offensive game, but hard to say if it's below or on par with Mailloux.

There is something to be said though, about a guy who hasn't been old enough to consume alcohol in the United States for very long, but it's captain his team in one of the best professional hockey league's on the planet. Maturity and character appear to be two big aspects of what Konyushkov brings to the ice, and luckily for the Habs Nick Bobrov gets to see plenty of the young Russian defensemen, while on European prospect assignment.

Konyushkov is the result of strong scouting and with some great talents like Ivan Demidov, who I am very intrigued by. Anton Silayev, a teammate of Konyuhskov's, who looks like the Russian Victor Hedman. And Igor Chernyshov, Yegor Surin and Matvei Shuravin - are five of the most talented Russian prospects for the 2024 NHL Draft.

Given the successful handling of Konyushkov's development in Russia, Kent Hughes might just feel inclined to draft another prospect from the KHL. Kirill Kaprizov is an example of a Russian prospect, who developed in Russia and then came to the NHL and you know the rest. Artemi Panarin and Andrei Kuzmenko are two other guys that have taken the same route.

It's not to compare or even tease at the idea of the Canadiens nabbing a player of their calibre, but letting a player marinate in the KHL seems like a great recipe. The benefit is that you get a fully developed player, who is just hitting their prime, and they will be paid Entry Level Contract money. Acquiring assets and high picks is important, but so is precious cap space.

I regress, but back to Konyushkov. It's relatively unclear to the public, what the plan is for the player - and more specifically his expected NHL arrival date. But even if it is another one to three years, he will be right on schedule to hit his prime.

Captain Konyushkov has a nice ring to it - maybe a couple of seasons in a leadership role will mould him into the exact piece the Canadiens need. Hughes seemed to agree with his scouting team that Konyushkov was a smart pick in the fourth round. With a first-round selection this year and the assets to acquire another one or two, the Canadiens could add another highly touted right-shot defenseman.

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