Nikita Korostelev and Zach Wilkie – Toronto Jr. Canadiens – OHL Draft Prospects

Nikita Korostelev – Toronto Jr. Canadiens RW- 6’0″ 176 lbs
LB : How do you describe yourself as a player?
NK: I’m a playmaking forward – I’m not very good defensively, but I’m best at making plays in the offensive zone. I’m working on my defensive abilities, but not as good as I want them to be now.
LB: Who would you say is one of the toughest players for you to play against?
NK:I never played against Travis Konecny at the start of the season because I was injured, but I know he’s a very good player. He’s a strong player and a tough kid to play against.
LB: What would you say is the strongest part of your game right now?
NK: Offensively, making different plays – pretty good shot and good hands.
LB: You mentioned a moment ago that the defensive part of your game isn’t as good as you’d like it to be. So will that be your main focus as OHL draft approaches?
NK: Not the main focus – the main focus is to help my team win every game. Defensive abilities is just something I want to get better at.
LB: If there is any player you could bring to the OHL with you, who would it be and why?
NK: My Russian buddy on this team – he’s not eligible for the draft because he is European player like me, #88. (Vladislav Sharipov)
LB: Growing up a European player, when did the potential to play in the OHL become real for you?
NK: When I played in Russia, I had no idea that I would play in Canada. I wasn’t growing there as a hockey player, so I decided to come here last year and try what I can. Then my coach picked me up this year and I stayed with ’96’s so I was an underager. It really helped me.

Zach Wilkie – Toronto Jr. Canadiens – RD – 5’11” 162
LB: How do you view yourself as a player?
ZW: I’m a physical defenceman. I like to throw my body around, but I can also chip in on the offence if my team needs me to do so. I’m mostly defensive, but I can also chip in offence every so often.
LB: Who, for you, is consistently the toughest player for you to play against?
ZW: I’d say Dylan Strome. He’s a very good forward, great vision on the ice, so you have to take his time and space away, then you go from there.
LB: What would you say right now is the strongest part of your game?
ZW: Probably my physical ability. I like hitting a lot, so I can be offensive as well. But mainly my physical ability is probably the best part of my game.
LB: What is the main aspect of your game you need to improve on?
ZW: I would probably say one of the main things I have to improve on is my patience. I have to be a little more patient with the puck. I tend to throw it away sometimes, so I have to calm my game down sometimes and use my ability to just be patient and move the puck up the ice.
LB: If you could bring any player to the OHL with you, who would it be and why?
ZW: I’d probably have to go with Nikita Korostelev for sure. When he and I are on the ice, we seem to find each other well, we have great chemistry and have all year, plus he’s a phenomenal player to play with and it’d be a challenge to play against him.
LB: What aspect of your game will put you a step above the competition?
ZW: Being able to use my shot. I’ve been working on it all year, which has improved a lot. So if I can keep working on it then that will help my team.