Pavel Dorofeyev, a Winger from Russia was selected in the third round, 79 overall in the 2019 NHL Entry draft by the Vegas Golden Knights. When asked what kind of player he was in his post draft interview, Dorofeyev described himself (through an interpreter) as a, “Finesse player that likes to score goals and do his best defensively as well”. His own assessment is a decent representation of the type of player he is.
An interesting trend
While playing for the Stalnye Lisy Magnitogorsk in the MHL (which is the Russian equivalent of Junior League), Dorofeyev truly showed his offensive capabilities. In the 2017-2018 MHL season, he had 19 goals and 39 total points in 48 games. He also participated in the 2018 World Juniors in which he scored four points in five games for Russia.
In the 2018-2019 season, Dorofeyev was moved up to the KHL, playing for Metallurg Magnitogorsk where he struggled to perform. In his 23 games in the KHL that season he was only able to record 2 points. After his KHL stint in the MHL that same season he took the next step offensively, scoring an impressive 31 points in 19 games in the junior league.
This was seen immediately after being drafted by the Vegas Golden Knights in 2019. During the 2019-2020 season, he played 48 games in the KHL recording only seven points. He also played just three games in the MHL this season getting two points in that time. In addition to club play, he participated in the 2020 World Juniors again for Russia where he scored four points in sevens games, earning a silver medal in the process.
For this past 2020-2021 season, Dorofeyev played 1 game in the KHL with zero points, two games in the MHL with four points and 36 games in the VHL (second tier of Russian hockey) with Chelmet Chelyabinsk where he tallied 17 points. This season also saw him come to the United States and play for the Golden Knights AHL affiliate team, the Henderson Silver Knights. In 24 games with the Silver Knights, Dorofeyev scored 13 points, nine of which were goals.
Dorofeyev appears to flourish in competition amongst his peers both in terms of his age and physicality, but struggles in top level competition with more experienced players.
“Finesse player that likes to score goals”
Dorofeyev’s greatest asset is his creativity in the offensive zone and his fore-checking ability while in possession of the puck. He’s somewhat of a high risk/high reward kind of player; one who more than likely will need time to develop.
Standing at 6-foot-1 and 176lbs, Dorofeyev has somewhat of a slight frame, which is indicative of how he plays; a lot of skill but not much physical play.
He has a dynamic style and is capable of cutting through the neutral zone with ease. He utilizes his puck handling abilities to maintain possession while entering the offensive zone. With this type of fore-check, he spearheads attacks and gives his teammates the opportunity to enter the zone with ease.
He possesses a decent wrist shot that he employs well off of set plays or with extended offensive zone time. He also has the ability to put in work near the crease. This gives him opportunities to out-position opposing players.
His hockey IQ is best on display when playing with linemates who are in sync with his offensive creativity. He is able to create scoring chances on his own or through calculated cooperation with his teammates.
While he put up decent numbers in his first AHL season, there is definitely room for improvement. The trend of his career, so far, is that as he matures both physically and mentally his playing ability should follow suit. With that being the case, there should be improvement in his game each season he plays.
Having signed an entry level contract in January of this year, he’s likely to play for Henderson again next season. If he has taken the next step in developing, his performance this upcoming season will be indicative of that.
Featured image courtesy of Henderson Silver Knights
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