Anatolii Golyshev has signed a one-year deal for 20-21 with the New York Islanders. He’s on his way to North America, where he will quarantine before joining up with his new team.
Golyshev has been in the system for years now. The Islanders drafted him in the fourth round of the 2016 NHL draft. But being in Russia so long means he wasn’t getting much attention and rightfully so. Six months ago we were told that he may not be interested in joining the Islanders (subscription required).
But here we are with Golyshev holding a one-year ELC (the max allowable under the NHL’s CBA) for the 20-21 season. With the Russian forward joining the Isles this year, I asked Isles fans if they had questions about the Russian prospect. Here are some of those questions along with my answers!
Answering questions about New York Islanders Anatolii Golyshev
Q: Is it Anatolii, Anatoli, or Anatoly?
This is a great question because it’s not that easy to answer. It’s pronounced Anatoly, but his name is spelled Анатолий in Russian so in English that should be Anatolii. But as Gillian Kemmerer pointed out it could have easily gone either way.
I was using Anatoly for a while, but seeing as how the Isles are officially going with Anatolii I’ve made the switch too.
Q: How is his English?
When I was trying to set up an interview with him during the season an interpreter was going to be used. I know Russian but it’s very basic, I can essentially say “hello”, “how are you”, and “where is the coffee shop?” Again, very basic and purely just enough for me to get by when I traveled there.
All that to say that his English might not be strong enough to conduct solo interviews. I’m sure his English is fine, but going from Russian to English isn’t easy at all. Trust me. I imagine he’ll use someone to assist him at the start. Thankfully, there are a few Russian’s on the team who can help him with that.
Q: You think he goes to the taxi squad or down to Bridgeport? And long term where do you see him slotting in with the Isles?
I can’t see him slotting into the lineup immediately. Barry Trotz barely knows him. It’s going to take him some time to earn the coach’s trust. I can absolutely see him take a spot on the taxi squad and perhaps earn a conditioning loan to the AHL this year once he’s ready for game time.
Long-term, I see him as a bottom-six winger. As in on the third line. It’s possible that he pushes his way up the depth chart and earns some time in the top-six down the road.
If he can lineup with skilled linemates he could absolutely put up points. At the start of the 20-21 KHL season, Golyshev lined up with Pavel Datsyuk. In his first 12 games on the year (largely spent playing with Datsyul), he scored six goals and provided four helpers. A pace that would have seen him match his career-high of 44 points from 15-16.
After the two were split up, Golyshev’s production dried up. He scored 17 points over his next 41 games. That’s a drop of 0.54 points-per-game or a loss of 22 points on the year.
Q: Is he a Gol-scorer?
Love the pun.
I wouldn’t call him that. His best goal-scoring season at the KHL level was in 2015-16 where he scored 25 goals. It was the only year he eclipsed 20 goals in a season.
Q: Most realistic expectations within the next 3 years?
When I project what he could be I use translation factors. Translation factors are used to figure out how production in one league (like the KHL) would translate to the NHL.
Based on that, Golyshev is a 36 point player at the NHL level to me. He could certainly perform at a higher rate, assuming he lines up with skilled linemates, but I see him in popping in 30-40 points (at best) in the NHL.
That may not sound like a lot, but consider guys like Michael Dal Colle and Leo Komarov are scoring at an 18 and eleven-point pace over 82 games. Golyshev could be a huge upgrade over either.