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Blackhawks Top 25 Under 25 for 2018: Andrei Altybarmakyan at No. 16

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Russia vs United States: Quarterfinal - 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Nicholas T. LoVerde/Getty Images

Andrei Altybarmakyan saw his first glimpse of KHL action this past season with 14 games for powerhouse SKA St. Petersburg. Despite not recording a point, it was a major step to crack the lineup for one of the most talented teams in Russia’s top league. He spent most of the 2017-18 season in the VHL — Russia’s top minor league — where he tallied 18 points in 32 games. The right winger skates into the Top 25 Under 25 for the first time at No. 16.

Position: Right winger

Birth date: Aug. 4, 1998 (age 20)

Acquired via: 2017 NHL draft — 3rd round

Most recent stop: SKA-Neva St. Petersburg — VHL

Size: 5’11, 183 pounds

Contract: Unsigned

Last year’s ranking: Unranked

Breakdown

Altybarmakyan is like most young Russian prospects — forgotten. Defensemen Henri Jokiharju and Ian Mitchell and forward Tim Söderlund have dominated conversations about the Chicago Blackhawks’ 2017 draft class. But in the third round, the Hawks selected a promising, highly-skilled skater in Altybarmakyan.

Prior to being drafted by Chicago, he was a dominate force in Russia’s junior league with 20 goals and 45 points in 31 games. He moved up to the VHL and continued to produce and made his way into the lineup for 14 KHL games with SKA St. Petersburg. His first real showing came at the World Junior Championships, when he tallied a goal and two assists in five contests. He had a better performance at the Canada-Russia Super Series, when he scored five points (three goals, two assists) in six games.

Corey Pronman of The Athletic characterized Altybarmakyan as a “high-energy/speed player” who could be a “decent bottom-six guy who kills penalties” at the NHL level.

What’s next in 2018-19?

Altybarmakyan will be in the position as last season where he bounces back between the KHL and VHL with SKA St. Petersburg. He’s in the final year of his KHL contract and should be able to log more minutes in Russia’s top league this season. His offseason workout regime certainly is impressive.

He’ll likely re-sign with SKA St. Petersburg or ink a deal with another KHL team as the Hawks probably won’t move him over to North America just yet.