OHL Prospect Profile: Danil Zhilkin

– Danil Zhilkin –

Toronto Marlboros (GTHL) | Center/Left Wing | 2019 OHL Draft Eligible

Mississauga, Ontario | December 19th, 2003

Danil Zhilkin joined the Marlboros for his Minor Midget season, and it seems to be paying early dividends. Zhilkin is currently committed to Boston University for the ’21-22 season. At the Titans Early Bird Tournament, Zhilkin tore up the competition en route to nine goals and 12 points in just six games, claiming the highest goal total among all competitors, along with the second best point-per-game rate behind only Shane Wright.

Related: Check out our 2019 OHL Draft Ranking: October Top-20

That trend has carried over into the GTHL Regular Season as well, with Zhilkin quickly establishing his reputation as a lethal sniper in the league. Despite being a late ’03-born prospect, Zhilkin is able to hold his own against the strongest of opponents and is consistently an offensive threat each time he takes the ice.

Strengths:

  • Shot
  • Puck Skills
  • Hockey Sense

Danil Zhilkin’s game is built around his ability as a natural goal-scorer. He is an instinctive shooter who can change angles and find shooting lanes through the most minuscule of holes. Featuring an electric release with impressive power, his snap shot is potent and can easily beat goaltenders straight up. He has excellent accuracy as well, often finding opportunities to sneak a puck in the short side.

Related: Check out the Top 20 Performers of the Toronto Titans Early Bird Tournament

Further, Zhilkin possesses terrific puck skills and can stickhandle his was through defenders with poise and confidence. He likes to chip the puck into a soft area before retrieving it himself as well. It is through these tendencies that Zhilkin’s hockey sense shines through. He can instantaneously read and react to a developing play and is able to slip behind defenders to make himself a passing option.

Area of Improvement:

  • Skating

One aspect in which Zhilkin could improve to become a truly dynamic prospect is with his skating. He sometimes flashes above-average speed, but is generally missing that separation speed that would make him exponentially more dangerous. Both his agility and acceleration could use some work, namely in his first three steps.

Zhilkin’s game would be much more well-rounded if he were able to work on these aspects, adding a crucial element to form a lethal combination alongside his elite shot. No doubt, Zhilkin has shown tremendous upside in his play through a natural scoring ability, but scouts may question his ability to keep up with the pace of the OHL with his current skating level.

Future Potential:

Danil Zhilkin is considered to be one of the elite prospects in the GTHL this season. Arguably the league’s best goal-scorer, Zhilkin has an electric release and pinpoint accuracy with his shot, and has impressive hands as well. As a late-born “03 prospect, Zhilkin certainly has intriguing upside, and likely won’t last long at the 2019 OHL Draft. He currently projects as a first round pick, although his NCAA commitment will certainly play a major role into his final draft position..

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