Here is a proof the Moncton Wildcats made the right pick but now have to work on getting the player.
The talker emanating out of the Subway Super Series opener on Monday was the breathtakingly beautiful goal that Russia's sprightly speedster Vladimir Tkachev scored to tie the game in the third period. In one burst starting from his own blueline, the 18-year-old whom Moncton is hoping to bring to the Quebec League next season burned three high NHL picks to score.
First Tkachev slipped by Laurent Dauphin, a second-round selection of the Phoenix Coyotes. Then he made the feet of Philadelphia Flyers first-rounder Samuel Morin look like a croquet wicket, slipping the puck through before recollecting it and zipping a shot past Team QMJHL goalie Zach Fucale. The Montreal Canadiens, of course, made Fucale the first goalie taken in the 2013 NHL draft.
The mind reels at what Thackev, whose October birthday puts him in the 2014 NHL draft player pool, might do in the QMJHL against everyday competition. Moncton selected him in last summer's Canadian Hockey League import draft. The skilled forward is currently shuffling between Avangard Omsk in the KHL and its junior-aged affiliate team. In Moncton, he would have a chance to collaborate with Ivan Barbashev, who is the top-ranked QMJHL-based prospect for the draft and scored Russia's other goal on Monday. People in North America would definitely like to see more of Tkachev than just occasional snippets.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org (videos: Sportsnet, International Ice Hockey Federation).