Date of Birth: 2/11/1999
Place of Birth: Praha, CZE
Ht: 6'4" Wt: 198 lbs
Position: Right Wing
Team (League): HC Sparta Praha (Czech)
What Scouts See
Skates very well, with balance and noteworthy speed, and handles the puck with ease and control at top speeds. Displays a dangerously accurate shot that he is never hesitant to use; often a threat in the offensive zone. Uses his frame well, to protect the puck, as well as to impose physically upon the opposition. Defensively stable and actively cuts off passing and shooting lanes. Could be more creative, but is more of a straight-line player.
A big man with agility and first-step quickness? Sign me up! This draft doesn’t have as many goal-scoring power forwards as a year ago, but Safin is one of the few 1999’s who’s played well enough to earn a senior league promotion. He’s a big kid who fills the lane and can really overpower opponents. It almost unfair when he’s as the ice — he skates very well for his size and can be impossible to knock off the puck. A skilled power forward who skates well and has a very good shot, Safin checks a lot of blocks for what you’d want in a modern-day power forward. One aspect of his game that stands out is the way he can maintain balance and control the puck while extending his lengthy reach. Safin has extremely strong wrists and fires a hard shot with a quick release whether off balance or from his back foot. Safin is a very good skater for his size and possesses a soft set of hands, and he is capable of making neat little lead passes while absorbing hits. He’s looked good at several international tournaments, including the U18s where he collected four points in five games.
Power forwards with Safin's size and scoring touch are a rare breed and if he finds consistency, he should be a problem for opposing teams as a top-flight right wing in the NHL.
How Prospect Fits in Avalanche Organization
Safin is ticketed as a late second, early third round prospect right now. If that holds true, it would require the Avalanche to do some draft day maneuvering in order to secure Safin's services in that range. Should they do that, he would bring an element of size, physicality, and skill they have been building in previous years with the likes of Mikko Rantanen and A.J. Greer. Safin would be an excellent addition to that group and help further bolster the lackluster physicality the Avalanche so frequently ice in the NHL.