The November Subway Super Series is a good chance to see some players that we wouldn’t normally have a chance to see, and this year it looks like the best candidates for late draft selections are center Daniil Sobchenko and winger Anton Burdasov.
Daniil Sobchenko, as the surname suggests, was born in Ukraine, in Kiev, on April 4, 1991. He’s a guy who can both score and pass, as well as play both center and wing, but he gives his best as playmaking center. Sobchenko is now a strong candidate to center no less than Maxim Kitsyn and Vladimir Tarasenko at the WJC. “I think about the WJC every day”, Sobchenko told championat.ru before departing to Canada. “I think I’ll play with Kitsyn and Tarasenko there, but we’ll see. In December the coach will decide.”
The 19-year-old had a good season in the KHL last year, playing for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. He scored five goals and one assist in 35 pro games. This year he played only five games with Lokomotiv and spend more time in the Russian junior league. He is definitely a good player due to his hockey IQ, passing game, skating and game without the puck, but got little attention abroad as he never made the national junior team due to conflict with former head coach Vladimir Plyuschev, even if he did skate in the 2007 U17 World Hockey Challenge (four points in as many games). Even if he’s not known in North America, being selected as first line center with Maxim Kitsyn and Tarasenko must mean something, I’d say.
Anton Burdasov is a completely different player. He plays a more physical hockey style and has a good size at 6’3, 200 lbs, but like most of Russian players he isn’t a true power forward. The Chelyabinsk, Russia, native has yet to score his first KHL goal, but he’s tearing up the MHL, the Russian junior league, with 13 goals in 12 games. The 19-year-old winger scored two hat-tricks already this season and he has the potential to score more as the league goes on. But he’s mainly playing in the KHL and there he’s not having the same success as he’s yet to get his first point after 21 regular season games. Burdasov and Sobchenko were teammates during the 2007 U17 World Hockey Challenge, which was for both the only participation in main international tournaments.
Anton Burdasov and Daniil Sobchenko may get drafted this or next year, in a similar fashion to Maxim Chudinov during the 2010 draft. Chudinov was drafted after being overlooked twice, it might be the same for Burdasov and Sobchenko, who will play big roles during the WJC. Especially Daniils Sobchenko, the strongest candidate for the top line center position.