#23: Vitaly Abramov (Last Year: 12, Reader Rank: 25)
Vitaly Abramov comes into the 2021 Top 25 Under 25 as our biggest faller of the prospect pool. While it is partly due to his inability to secure a role with the Sens at 23 years old, it is less of a reflection of Abramov’s abilities as a hockey player and has more to do with the organization’s additions and growth of existing prospects. When I first saw Abramov had dropped so far across the writer’s rankings, I got a bit worried. To see the readers are on the same page was reassuring.
It wasn’t long ago that I wrote a piece on Abramov, calling him Belleville’s Unsung Hero, praising the Russian winger for his dynamic scoring ability, puck handling and speed. I still whole heartedly believe these things to be true, but what feels like it’s changing is his ceiling. Previously, many fans and experts had Abramov penciled in as a middle, possibly top, six scoring winger.
With his age, we have to start to wonder exactly where Abramov will end up.
I resist writing off people in general.— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) November 24, 2020
That said, if a prospect hasn’t found their sea legs by the time they’re 23, the chances of becoming a player is very low. https://t.co/kKYH7ux8BO
There’s no denying that Abramov’s offensive play has never been a problem - although, it can sometimes be streaky. In this past season, Abramov ranked second on the BSens in primary points per game (both even strength and overall) behind Angus Crookshank. He’s been a player who has ranked highly in this regard year over year, putting up similar numbers to some of Ottawa’s top prospects like Drake Batherson and Josh Norris.
At even strength over his time with Belleville, the opposition has scored 77 times with Abramov on the ice compared to Belleville scoring 95 times with Abramov on the ice. Statistically, the BSens have been more likely to score than be scored on during Abramov’s shifts. This is a really interesting piece to the puzzle, considering he’s “well known” for being a bit of a one way winger.
Last fall, Abramov spent time in Finland playing for Jukurit of the Liiga, registering seven points in eight games. As a player who will be taking his services overseas, despite the Senators still owning his rights in the NHL, Abramov is likely looking to earn some more money while playing at a higher level than the AHL. He’ll be 25 when his KHL deal ends, so all eyes will be on Abramov’s production in the KHL to see if he can take his game to the next level and rejoin the Sens - or another NHL organization - a few years from now.