#18- Dmitry Zavgorodniy
Position: Left Wing
Age: 19 (as of August 1 2020)
2019-20 Team: Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL)
2020-21 Team: SKA St. Petersburg (KHL)
Drafted in 2018, 7th Round, Pick 198
Last Year’s Ranking: 24
Although jumping from the QMJHL directly to the KHL is a big step in a young player’s career, Zavgorodniy has continued to surprise wherever he goes. Fresh out of his draft year where he put up a respectable 47 points in 62 games, the small Russian was arguably the best Flames prospect at the development camp, and played well in the main camp as well in 2018.
He followed that up with a near point-per-game season in 2018-19 for Rimouski, where he began to form chemistry with top prospect Alexis Lafreniere. His performance that season earned him his entry-level deal in March of 2019. Zav truly broke out in 2019-20, besting all his personal records in around 30 less games, but injuries and the pandemic shut him down. He finished last season with 29 goals and 67 points in only 40 games.
Instead of playing an overage season with Rimouski, Zavgorodniy was loaned by the Flames to SKA St. Petersburg in the KHL. However, the KHL is not a developmental league and that has been evident thus far. Although he put up 3 points through his first 4 games, SKA has kept Zavgorodniy out of the lineup since October 7th. There’s unclear information about some form of injury, which makes sense given he hasn’t been assigned anywhere in the junior ranks of Russia.
Nonetheless, the diminutive forward has given the Flames much more than they’d hope to receive from a 7th round pick. With the AHL announcing it’s tentative return for February, you should bet on Zavgorodniy making the trip back to North America and getting the playing time he deserves.