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Wednesday FTB: Penning a love letter to Fedor Gordeev

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He’s big, he’s gangly, he can skate and he can dangle. Most important of all, he’s a Toronto boy that cried when he was drafted by the Leafs.

2017 NHL Draft - Portraits
Looking for this awkward duckling to turn into a beautiful NHL defenswan
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

When signing up for T25U25 articles, I had a choice between signing up for a “Case For” about Riley Stotts or Fedor Gordeev. I had both picked higher than any other voter, with Stotts at 20 and Gordeev at 19, and both wound up being guys just outside looking in.

In the end I decided to write about Stotts, which will be coming out on Friday, because he’s the hot new thing whereas Gordeev is something of a known quantity around here. That said, I might not have the time to write a full “Case For” about Gordeev but I can at least devote a little love letter to him in the FTB (because what the fuck else am I going to write about in this black hole of hockey news?)

Let’s hit the basics in rapid fire form:

  • He’s a Large Adult Son at 6’6” and over 210 lbs drafted in the 5th round in 2017.
  • He can actually skate and has some raw skill, unlike previous Large Adult Sons (see below)
  • He was only moved permanently to defense when he was traded to Flint at the start of the 2016/17 season, before that he also spent time as a forward.
  • He seems incredibly athletic but just has yet to fully refine his skills, perhaps due to lack of experience, but there is potential there I drool over even if he’s very likely to never realize it
  • He finished 10th in the OHL among defensemen for shots on goal
  • He almost doubled his point total from 13 to 25 last year
  • I only learned looking into him for the rankings that he’s a born and raised Torontonian, and he cried when the Leafs drafted him

By all accounts he still struggles with some things a more experienced defender has already learned, such as various skating maneuvers, or playing in his own end as a defenseman. After starting so late there’s no way of knowing if he can learn the craft enough to really tap into his potential. The Leafs do put a lot of time and resources into developing their prospects, so maybe they can do it with the help of Barb Underhill and Stephane Robidas.

But, there’s another Leafs defender who only switched to defense relatively late in his hockey life... Jake Gardiner. Gordeev doesn’t have the offensive skill of Gardiner, so he’s going to have to become a much better defender than Gardiner learned to be if he’ll ever make the NHL.

All that negative stuff out of the way, let’s look at the fun stuff.

Seriously, a guy that big who can skate, dangle, and make plays from the blueline is all kinds of exciting. I might not like his chances, but he’s the prospect in the Leafs system I most want to actually succeed.

ONTO THE LINKS!

Former Leafs scout Lindsay Hofford now AGM in Arizona, plus a bunch of other hires and staff movement | by Katya

The International Men of Mystery: T25U25 Unranked Prospects | by Katya

On the T25U25 front, today you can expect elseldo’s case for Dakota Joshua to be in the top 25.

[Leafs Links] Eric Lindros on John Tavares’ homecoming | by MLHS

Highs and Lows: The Top Six Wingers | by Scott Maxwell at TLN

For you podcast listeners...

HAPPY WEDNESDAY EVERYONE!

Poll

What do you think Fedor Gordeev can become?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    Okay to good AHL defender
    (89 votes)
  • 20%
    AHL All Star/NHL blueline depth
    (95 votes)
  • 39%
    Capable NHL third pair defenseman
    (185 votes)
  • 21%
    BOBBY ORR x NICK LIDSTROM ^ ERIK KARLSSON!!!!
    (104 votes)
473 votes total Vote Now