By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Bruins added another left-shot defenseman to their system on Saturday, selecting defenseman Roman Bychkov of Yaroslavl, Russia with the 154th pick in the fifth round of the 2019 NHL Draft.
Bychkov, 18, played the past two seasons with Yaroslavl Loko of the Junior Hockey League (MHL) in Europe and Asia. In 2018-19, he scored two goals and 15 points with a plus-17 rating in 40 games.
Here's a detailed scouting report from Bill Plazcek at DraftSite.com:
Russian defender with a good backward pedal, puck skills, good hockey IQ, and stick handling ability. On the small side and this point, but displays fluid feet and strong stride and terrific puck handling skills. His strength is his ability read the ice and use his stride, agility, and edging, coupled with his high end stick-handling skills to push the pace, and then dish the up yo an open teammate. Has the willingness to engage along the wall, and although he does need work on his gap control, he will close shooting lanes with his stick and even block shots. Has a good first pass in transition, but prefers to not be the primary on zone entries, but likes to jump in as the trailing rover. Needs to get bigger and stronger, and his shot needs more mustard.
Bychkov's high hockey IQ fits one of the virtually mandatory criteria of Bruins GM Don Sweeney. But at 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds, his relative lack of size and physical skills appears to have dropped him in the draft. We'll see if he can develop in that area, but his intelligence gives him potential as a decent defenseman at the NHL level.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].