BORN Oct. 22, 2002, Moscow, Rus.
2020-21 CSKA Moscow POS D
HT 6-3 WT 185 SHOOTS L
INTERNATIONAL SCOUTING SERVICES No. 24
Born and raised in Moscow, Chayka came to Canada at 15 to play youth hockey, and helped the Toronto Jr. Canadiens win the prestigious OHL Cup tournament.
Then as a rookie he won an OHL championship with the Guelph Storm. The next summer? A gold medal with Team Russia at the Hlinka-Gretzky tournament.
So it wasn’t surprising when Chayka was named to Russia’s world-junior squad this year, but the results were discouraging: he slid down the depth chart and played sparingly in Edmonton. “There were big expectations with what he did in Guelph the past couple years,” said one scout. “In a perfect world you wanted him to play more, but that wasn’t the case. But you can’t use that against him.”
What talent evaluators did like was his performance back in Russia this season, where he suited up for CSKA and played against men in the KHL. “He’s a lot better when he keeps it simple,” said another scout. “I’m trying to figure out how his game will translate at the next leveI. I don’t think he’s a puck-moving guy, maybe he’s a tweener where he’s more of a shutdown guy.”
BEST CASE | Esa Lindell