The 18-year-old Russian winger spent this past season in the MHL with Krasnaya Armiya Koskva, where he put up 52 points in 61 games. His season included 25 goals and 27 assists. Poltapov also added three points (2-1) in six playoff games.
He also appeared in one KHL game this past season with CSKA Moskva.
Poltapov also notched seven points (2-5) in as many games with Russia at the U18s.
Here’s what EliteProspects has to say about the newest member of the Buffalo Sabres:
He invites defenders on his back, shields the puck by extending a knee or by using his bottom arm, and transforms intense backpressure into an escape tool; he slows down, leans against opponents, and lets their shoves propel him into open ice. He then attacks the goalie or other defenders with a combination of handling moves and deception. Poltapov has some savvy feints in his kit.
Poltapov won a silver medal at this year’s U18s and also won gold with Russia at the U17s in 2020. He’s the first Russian player to be drafted by the Sabres since Vasili Glotov in 2016.
Here’s a quick highlight of Poltapov from the U18s, when he scored his second goal of the tournament:
The Sabres’ next scheduled draft picks are #53, #88, #95, #97, #159, #161, #188 and #193.
If you don’t have NHL Network and want to watch today’s draft action, check out the stream on NHL.com.