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Prospect Profile: Maxim Golod
By Thomas Harrington
With the draft now behind us, it’s time to return to the prospect updates. However, first up, the Ducks have a new prospect. Anaheim signed left winger Maxim Golod to a three-year entry-level contract shortly after the draft was completed.
Golod had been playing for the Erie Otters of the OHL for the past three seasons, and was a teammate of Anaheim’s first-round pick Jamie Drysdale. In fact, there’s a good chance that while scouting Drysdale, the Ducks noticed Golod and were happy with what they saw in him. In Golod’s first season with the Otters, he scored 12 goals and 33 points in 61 games. He followed that up with 17 goals and 35 points in 54 games. While it wasn’t a huge step up in production, he did increase his goal and point totals while appearing in fewer games.
This past season, he set career highs across the board. Golod played in 63 games and scored 25 goals and 78 points. His 53 points and 78 points both led the Otters, while his 25 goals were second. He also led the team with 26 powerplay points, and was tied with Drysdale for the team lead with 19 powerplay assists. Overall, he was 14th in the OHL in assists and tied for 18th in points, and was tied for 14th in powerplay assists.
With this signing, Anaheim has added another playmaker who can do some serious damage on the powerplay to their prospect pool. A common theme of Anaheim’s 2020 NHL Draft was selecting players who could put up points with the man advantage, and Golod fits in nicely with that plan. Like the rest of the draft class, Golod certainly won’t be the answer this coming season, and may not ever be the answer, but he’ll hopefully help Anaheim’s powerplay in the years to come.
Assuming the AHL is able to have a season this year, Golod will be reporting to the Gulls. Most junior players need some time to adjust to the pro game, and Golod likely won’t be any different. However, I am hoping that his playmaking abilities are able to translate into some points with San Diego. I don’t expect him to be among the team’s leading scorers, but I’d like to see him get somewhere around 20 assists or so and see time on the powerplay.
It will be interesting to see what other Anaheim prospects are in San Diego. If left-wingers Max Comtois or Max Jones see a lot of AHL time this coming season, then Golod will likely play in a bottom-six role, and he might even be pushed down to the ECHL to get more playing time. However, if both Comtois and Jones spend most or all of the season in the NHL, then Golod has a chance to get a top-six role in San Diego and maybe even some time next to Trevor Zegras, Anaheim’s top center prospect.
In terms of his NHL future, Golod probably won’t ever turn into a first-line left-winger. Few undrafted players are ever able to do that. However, plenty of undrafted players have made a nice career for themselves on a team’s second or third line, and I think that’s what Golod has a chance at becoming. He’s got good hands, he’s got good speed, it just remains to be seen how he’s able to put it all together once his pro career starts.
I don’t expect Golod to make his NHL debut this coming season. At left-wing, the Ducks have a lot of options: Rickard Rakell, Sonny Milano, Danton Heinen, Nicolas Deslaurier, Andrew Agozzino, Jones, and Comtois. However, if Golod can have a solid rookie season in the AHL, he could have a chance in the 2021-2022 season. I think he might get a game or two that season, and then have a chance at a larger role in the 2022-2023 season. Even then, it’s far from certain he’ll be a full-time NHL player. Players develop at different speeds, and in Anaheim, we’ve seen several prospects over the last couple of years who have taken a little longer to mature and become true NHL players than was hoped for.
Golod’s entry-level contract will begin this season, and he’ll be a restricted free agent in three years. Right now, it’s impossible to say whether or not Anaheim will look to re-sign him when it’s over. Similar to the recently signed Bryce Kindopp, Golod’s future in Anaheim is in his own hands. If he can have a few great seasons, even if they are all in the AHL, he’ll definitely be brought back. However, if he struggles to find consistency, Anaheim will likely move on from him.
Next up, the prospect updates will return with Jack Perbix.
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November 2nd, 2020