The Hockey Writers 2020 NHL Entry Draft Guide


Ivan Didkovsky

2019-20 Team: MHK Dynamo Moskva
Date of Birth: Jan. 20, 2002
Place of Birth: Novocherkassk, Russia
Ht: 5-foot-10 Wt: 185 pounds
Shoots: Left
Position: C/W
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2020 first-year eligible

Rankings

While Ivan Didkovsky may not be as well known as some of the other draft-eligible prospects in the MHL such as Marat Khusnutdinov and Alexander Pashin, that does not mean that he lacks talent. Playing for MHK Dynamo Moskva, he managed to score 20 goals and added 13 assists for 33 points in 37 games played.

Didkovsky does most of his damage in the offensive zone. Blessed with a great shot, he can pick and choose where he wants to place the puck and is able to get it off in an instant. He is great and reading screens in front and often makes his opponents pay. Didkovsky is also great at setting up his teammates in the slot. With his skating and passing ability, he is able to open up passing lanes and execute his passes with ease.

Related: THW’s 2020 NHL Draft Guide

While not as strong as the offensive side of his game, Didkovsky does not lack in his play without the puck either. He routinely back checks when the play transitions the other way and takes pride in helping out his defensemen and goalie when needed. When the puck is in the corner, he battles hard to get it back and uses his physicality if need be. If his teammates are ever in trouble, he will not hesitate to stick up for them and rarely backs down from a scrum.

Ivan Didkovsky at the 2019 World Junior A Championship (Photo by Matthew Murnaghan/Hockey Canada)

While Didkovsky will most likely stay overseas and continue to develop, he is certainly a prospect that will help a team down the road. He works hard on the ice and never takes a shift off. When he comes over, he will need to adjust to the smaller North American ice surface, but I have confidence that he will be just fine. He is a tantalizing prospect that will bolster a team’s prospect pipeline now and in the future.

Other THW Profiles

Quotables

“Ivan Didkovsky is without a doubt the best first time draft eligible player in the MHL. He’s electric on offense, always looking to pull off highlight reel plays. His deke arsenal is really impressive, and his shot is even more impressive. Didkovsky can pick corners with ease, with both his wrist shot and one-timer. His release is super quick, and is definitely his best tool. His speed is good, and sometimes exceptional. He’s shown that he’s definitely got another gear when he needs it. He can be a little bit frustrating to watch sometimes, due to his penchant for going between the legs, but is still an immensely talented forward with some real scoring potential.” – Alexander Taxman/Future Scope Hockey

“Didkovsky is a highly-skilled offensive winger who boasts excellent stick skills, a lethal shot, and creativity in the offensive zone. His 20 goals ranked him fifth among U18 skaters in the MHL last season.” – Oilers Nation

Ivan Didkovsky – 2020 NHL Draft Projection


With NHL Central Scouting ranking Didkovsky 77th amongst European skaters in their final rankings, I predict he goes right around where they have him ranked. He has great offensive potential and could provide some value down the road but there are definitely more skilled guys that will be drafted before him. That does take away from the skilled player that he is, but if I had to predict, I see him going anywhere in the fifth or sixth round.

Strengths

  • Shot
  • Vision

Under Construction – Improvements to Make

  • Being less fancy with the puck on some occasions — tends to try too hard and coughs it up from time to time

NHL Potential

Predicting how prospects will turn out is no fine art but Didkovsky has great potential that he can work with. With his shot already being a weapon in his arsenal and him boasting NHL size, he could provide value sooner than some other prospects. Down the road, I could see him being a middle-six forward who sees some time on the power play and who is relied upon late in the game.

Risk/Reward Analysis 

Risk – 3.5/5, Reward – 3.5/5

Fantasy Hockey Potential 

Offense – 7.5/10, Defense – 6/10

Awards/Achievements

In 2018-19, Didkovsky suited up in the U17 World Hockey Championships for his native country of Russia where and his teammates took home the Gold Medal. In 2019-20, he once again suited up for his country and took home the Hlinka Gretzky Cup Gold Medal.

Interview/Profile Links

Videos