2020-21 Team: Bars Kazan (VHL)
Date of Birth: Jan. 17, 2003
Place of Birth: Orenburg, Russia
Ht: 6-foot Wt: 174 pounds
Position: Left Wing/Right Wing
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2021 first-year eligible
Dmitri Katelevsky is an average-framed, defensively-minded winger who can chip in at center on occasions – his strength allows him to win multiple puck battles per game, and he plays well in tight spaces. He played most of his games this season in the Vysshaya Hokkeinaya Liga (VHL), Russia’s second division of men’s hockey. There he earned 16 points (7 goals, 9 assists) in 43 games, and was a regular penalty-killing option for Bars Kazan.
His sense of timing off the puck makes up most of his offensive game, as he is often seen creating separation with defenders in front of the net at timely moments, jumping on hard-to-get rebounds, or walking into pockets of space at the right time. His ability once the puck is on his stick, however, leaves a lot to be desired – his shot is not especially lethal, nor is his passing ability refined enough to cross narrow seams and find teammates in full stride. The sharpest arrow in his offensive quiver is his ability to make a quick reactionary dangle when an opponent is too aggressive.
On the defensive side, however, Katelevsky shows outstanding maturity in his approach; he keeps his stick firmly in front of him, forces the carrier wide, applies body pressure once they’re both near the boards and uses his strength to leverage the puck loose. When the opposing cycle is on, he keeps his head on a swivel, spots the nearest opponent in a dangerous spot, and sticks to him until a bigger threat arises.
His skating requires some work, as he seems to lack top-end speed and has a labored stride. Power-skating and adding muscle can only go so far – he needs a skating specialist to take an in-depth look at his stride and work on specifics, such as ankle flexion and upper-body posture.
On the plus side, Katelevsky was trusted on the penalty kill in a men’s league as an 18-year-old. In a league that tends to underplay young prospects with NHL hopes, that warrants some attention. He’s smart, reactive, perseverant and defensively responsible. He’s a decent option for a team looking to add a player who will complement offensive pieces wonderfully, and show the occasional flash of offense.
Related THW Draft Profiles
Dmitri Katelevsky – NHL Draft Projection
Katelevsky has had his name show up on most trusted scouting teams such as EliteProspects (84th), FC Hockey (59th) and DobberProspects (79th), and most online scouting sources place him in the third round. However, NHL Central Scouting has him 139th among European skaters, placing him well outside of the 2021 NHL Draft (accounting for North American skaters as well, who often outnumber EU prospects in drafts).
Related: THW’s 2021 NHL Draft Guide
He was also completely left out of Peter Baracchini’s and Andrew Forbes’ respective rankings at THW, with Matthew Zator including him as an honorable mention in his top-128. Katelevsky will hope that teams have done some in-depth research on him, and that they find his standout defensive abilities enticing enough to warrant a pick among the 224 players drafted July 23-24. Realistically, he should be a fourth- to sixth-rounder.
“Katelevsky is going to be a useful asset to this team with his defensive responsibility and strength. He can play on the wing or at centre, and will be a key contributor on the penalty kill. His off-the-puck movement puts him in excellent positions to close on plays defensively, and he has the offensive tools to boot.” – Dylan Griffing, EliteProspects (from Meet the Team: Russia’s Under-18 World Hockey Championships roster, EP Rinkside, 22-04-2021)
“A two-way center who has incredible defensive instincts. He needs to work on some of the finer points of the game but his defensive refinement could make him a useful bottom-six piece on an NHL club.” – Tony Ferrari, DobberProspects
- Defensive awareness
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Offensive-zone involvement
Katelevsky’s defensive prowess makes him a strong candidate for breaking into the NHL eventually, but his lack of high-end offensive tools limits his ceiling greatly. As it stands right now, he will likely end up as a bottom-six penalty-killing specialist, but if he is taken in charge by the likes of the Toronto Maple Leafs or the Tampa Bay Lightning, who have world-renowned skating coach Barbara Underhill at their prospects’ disposal, he might become a second-line complementary defensive forward.
Risk – 2/5, Reward – 3/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 5/10, Defense – 8/10
Katelevsky won a silver medal with Russia at the 2020-21 World Junior Championship. He has no other awards of note to date.
Dmitri Katelevsky Statistics
Lebanese-Canadian hockey writer/Scout. I follow the draft very closely, working with both The Hockey Writers and DobberProspects to provide draft coverage and continue furthering my knowledge of hockey.