Is it too soon to have goal of the year candidates? While it may have only been prospect camp, Carolina’s Sergey Tolchinsky scored a backwards, between-the-legs, breakaway tally that’s worth watching over and over.
Whatever the reason might be, in his draft year, 5-foot-8, 165-pound Sergey Tolchinksy went undrafted. The Carolina Hurricanes, however, saw something in the undrafted Tolchinsky, brought him to training camp and inked him to a three-year entry-level contract.
As of Wednesday’s Hurricanes prospect camp, we might have an idea what exactly Carolina’s staff saw in the now-20-year-old Tolchinsky: his ability to score absolutely jaw-dropping goals.
During Wednesday’s camp, Tolchinsky scored one of the most awe-inspiring, full-speed breakaway goals you’ll see all season and the off-season has only just begun. Tolchinsky picked up the puck and, with winger Erik Karlsson giving chase, he pivoted backwards, put the puck between his legs and buried the puck past the goaltender. It’s a thing of beauty:
— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) July 8, 2015
The goal is ridiculous to watch in full speed, but it likely comes as little surprise to anyone who has watched the diminutive Russian play over the past three seasons with the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. In his three OHL seasons, Tolchinsky has played 189 regular season contests, amassing 87 goals and 237 points. In the post-season, he’s also scored eight goals and 24 points, including a point-per-game performance in the 2014-15 playoffs.
Carolina is in the midst of rebuilding from the ground up and, with skill like this, Tolchinsky could be a serious part of the future of the Hurricanes. He might need some seasoning in the AHL first – he suited up for one AHL game at the end of the 2013-14 season – but he clearly has the speed and puck handling ability to make it in the pro game. If he puts it all together, the Hurricanes could have one exciting player on their hands.