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Prospect Update: Maxim Golod
By Thomas Harrington
An undrafted junior player, Maxim Golod completed his second year of professional hockey this past season, splitting time between the AHL and ECHL.
In the ECHL, Golod played for the Tulsa Oilers. In 32 games, he scored five goals and 22 points. Despite appearing in fewer than half of their games, he finished 11th in both assists and points on the team. He also appeared in four playoff games for Tulsa, scoring two goals and three points. In the AHL, he played with the Gulls and scored a goal and four points in 18 games, while primarily being given bottom six minutes. He actually had a good start to the season, scoring three points in his first five games, but only recorded one more point the rest of the season and didn’t play in any AHL games after January.
I had one expectation for Golod from last year but he failed to meet it, and that was to spend the entire year in the AHL. While he put up some good numbers in the ECHL, I wanted him to show that he belonged in the AHL. The ECHL is a solid hockey league, but it’s a clear step below the AHL. After two seasons split between the AHL and ECHL, it will be that much harder for him to make the NHL someday, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
For the upcoming season, I once again have only one expectation for Golod: this time it’s to play more games in the AHL than the ECHL. Based upon this past season, especially with Golod spending the playoffs in the ECHL and not AHL, it looks like he’s destined to spend at least some of this season in the ECHL. However, if he can play well enough to spend most of the season with the Gulls, I’ll be happy with his development.
Golod is a number of years away from the NHL, if he makes it at all. He had a great final season of junior hockey where he had 78 points in 63 games, but his career high before that was 35 points. That’s not to say he can’t become an NHL player; while not exactly common, there are pretty much always at least a few undrafted players in the NHL every year. However, for Golod to count himself in those ranks, he’s going to need to show that he’s an impact player in the AHL first. If he can do that this season, we could see him in an Anaheim uniform in the next couple of years.
Golod has one year remaining on his entry level deal and he’ll be a restricted free agent next summer. At this point, it’s far from a guarantee that he re-signs with the Ducks. If he spends most or all of this season in the AHL, I could see the Ducks extending him on a two-way deal for a year. However, if he’s primarily in the ECHL, it wouldn’t surprise me if they chose to not qualify him in the summer and let him leave as a free agent. At that point, the Gulls might try to sign him to an AHL-only deal, or he could look to other teams to get a shot at the NHL.
The next prospect update will be on Tyson Hinds.
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September 22nd, 2022