2024 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Anton Silayev

Photo Credit: Anton Silayev

The Scouting Report

Anton Silayev, a skilled left-handed defenseman hailing from Sarov, Russia, commands attention with his impressive stature, standing tall at 6 feet 7 inches and weighing 207 pounds. Initially a relatively obscure player, he has swiftly risen to prominence on the global and North American hockey stage, earning himself recognition as a top international prospect.

Silayev showcased his prowess during the 2023-2024 KHL season while competing in 63 games for Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod, where he contributed significantly with 11 points, comprising 3 goals and 8 assists. He led the Torpedo with 98 hits in those regular season games. Silayev has achieved the highest number of points ever by a player a player under-18 in KHL history.

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Draft Projections

Ranked #9 by INSIDE THE RINK


Ranked #2 by TSN/BOB McKENZIE

Ranked #12 by TSN/CRAIG BUTTON

Ranked #1 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (EU Skaters)




Karen Zehner of Inside The Rink has Anton Silayev projected at 9th overall.

I have highlighted some of Anton Silayev’s attributes, let’s take a deeper dive into those attributes and areas of improvement.

Hockey IQ

It is unusual for a “defensive defenseman” like Silayev to receive such recognition, but his remarkable skills justify his high placement in this draft. With a commanding presence, he effectively utilizes his size and long reach to deter opponents. Moreover, his impressive agility and adept skating allow him to defend against swift attacks and maneuver adeptly in confined spaces. While Silayev may not make significant offensive contributions, his expertise in disrupting plays defensively and facilitating puck movement from his zone are valuable assets that can significantly enhance team performance.

He demonstrates exceptional puck-handling abilities and exhibits precision in passing when required. Leveraging his substantial physique, he adeptly utilizes his physical strength, with further potential present as he develops increased mass and muscle. While his decision-making while in possession of the puck shows promise, there remains room for improvement in this aspect, which could be a factor working against him.


Silayev demonstrates exceptional skill on the ice, skillfully maneuvering along the blue line with grace. His seamless transitions onto his heels allow him to confidently carry the puck up the ice, close gaps effectively, and disrupt opponents with his active stick. Admirable is a defenseman who seamlessly blends both agility and size, all while executing plays with a remarkable level of effortlessness.

Silayev’s finesse in navigating the blue line showcases a combination of technical proficiency and fluid skating that is truly impressive. His acceleration has explosive quality to it, enabling him to match or outskate the pace of smaller players who are typically expected to be quicker. than someone of his size. Moreover, his proficiency in executing intricate skating maneuvers such as crossovers and power generation is on par with, if not approaching, NHL standards despite his youth.

“It’s not often you find a 6-foot-7, 211-pound defenseman capable of moving like him with his smooth and active skating stride. He seems to always be alert and able to quickly get pucks to his forwards in transition. He can carry the puck and has a great release. His personal skills are still a bit raw, but his ceiling is high. He’s looked so composed in the KHL. He seems to be ready to play in the NHL almost immediately.”

Jukka-Pekka Vuorinen, NHL Director of European Scouting

Prospect Potential

Silyev is frequently regarded as a formidable contender, contrasting with the highly esteemed prospect Macklin Celleebrini. His physical stature offers him a competitive edge, yet refining his agility could significantly elevate his performance, representing a pivotal aspect of his potential growth. Although primarily recognized as a left-shot defenseman, Silyev has demonstrated versatility by adeptly playing on both sides, a skill set that could prove invaluable in his professional NHL career.

If Silyev realizes his potential and evolves into an exceptional defenseman, he may rightfully be recognized as a “unicorn,” a term currently used by many to depict his expanding skill set. Acquiring a young player adept at seamlessly transitioning between positions could prove advantageous for any team in need of such versatility. This is the reason why, in my view, he distinguishes himself from other defensemen in this draft class.

Areas of Improvement

While he may need to enhance his decision-making skills, his untapped potential is quite significant. By refining his scoring ability, he could evolve into a formidable threat on both offensive and defensive fronts. He is sometimes guilty of opting for a conservative approach and the underlying concern lies in the repetitive nature of these cautious actions, rendering a player like him as being considered predictable. Making a pass along the boards poses the risk of interception, whereas repeatedly transferring the puck to a defensive partner can hinder successful breakouts if they are compelled to retreat, needlessly extending defensive zone occupancy. A lot of this is due to a lack of experience, so one can argue that this is definitely an area he can improve upon.

Final Thoughts

Silayev embodies all of the attributes essential for excelling as a top-tier shutdown defenseman in the NHL. However, a notable concern pertains to Silayev’s existing contractual obligations with his KHL team, which extend until through the 2025–26 season. Consequently, his debut in the NHL is not anticipated until the 2026–27 season for this reason. Given Silayev’s impressive performance in the KHL, it appears unlikely that his current team would willingly release him to transition to the NHL. This consideration may significantly influence the decision-making process of any NHL team as they strategize their draft selections. However, if you are a team looking for a top-tier defensemen and are looking to have a solid player on your roster, then some additional experience under his skates with the KHL, may make Silayev well worth waiting for.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
  3. Episode 6. Early Trade Season
  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

Karen Zehner

Credentialed Beat Writer covering the ECHL Atlanta Gladiators. Diving into the world of slap shots, penalty kills, and the game we love. [@RunwithK] on socials.

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