Rinat Valiev
Image: WHL

Rinat Valiev

Hometown:

Nizhnekamsk Russia

Currently Playing In:

CHL

Birthday:

1995--5-11

Position:

D

Eligible for draft:

2013

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2014

Height:

6-1

Acquired:

3rd round (68th overall), 2014

Weight:

190 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • C

History

2009-10: Rinat Valiev played in the Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk youth program in Russia and represented Povolshie in the 2009 U15 tournament. He skated for Ak Bars Kazan in the 2010 Russian U15 championship. In five games for Povolshie he scored 2 goals with 2 assists and was -1 with 8 penalty minutes. Valiev was +2 and had 2 assists with 2 penalty minutes in six games at the Russian Championships as Ak Bars finished second in its pool and defeated Traktor Chelyabinsk, 6-2, in the bronze medal game.

2010-11: Valiev skated for the Ak Bars Kazan 1995 team that reached the Povolzhie Region finals, played for the club’s U17 team at the 2011 Russian Championship, and played for Russia’s U16 team in the 2011 U17 Four Nations Tournament in Podolsk. He scored 1 goal and was +1 with 4 penalty minutes for the Ak Bars U17 team as the club finished second in its pool and lost to Avangard Omsk, 6-0, in the bronze medal game. Valiev had no points nor penalty minutes in his only game for Russia in the Four Nations Tournament.

2011-12: Valiev played junior hockey in Russia as a 16-year-old — splitting the season between Kazan’s first and second teams in the MHL and MHL B leagues — and played for Russia’s U17 team in the 2012 Four Nations Tournament in Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic. He scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was +9 with 10 penalty minutes in 15 regular season games for Bars Kazan and had 1 goal and an even plus/minus in one MHL playoff game. Valiev scored 2 goals with 6 assists and was +22 with 38 penalty minutes in 26 MHL B games in league play for Irbis and was +4 with 2 assists and 6 penalty minutes in the playoffs. In three games for Russia at the Four Nations Tournament he scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was +2 with 29 penalty minutes. Valiev was selected by Ak Bars in the first round (3rd overall) in the 2012 KHL Draft.

2012-13: Valiev skated for Russia’s U18 team at the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament in August and skated in six MHL games with Bars Kazan before heading to North America to play for the USHL’s Indiana Ice. He skated in 36 games for Indiana and played in the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game before suffering a season-ending injury. He scored 6 goals with 7 assists and was -6 with 43 penalty minutes in 36 USHL games. Valiev scored 2 goals with 1 assists and was an even plus/minus in four games at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament and also skated for Russia in the Sergei Zholtok Memorial and Five Nations Tournaments. He was not selected in the NHL Draft in his first year of eligibility but was taken by Kootenay in the first round (25th overall) of the 2013 CHL Import Draft.

2013-14: Valiev played in the WHL with Kootenay and skated for Russia’s junior team in the 2013 Subway Super Series in Canada. He played 55 regular season games for the Ice — missing time at the beginning of the year due to the strike of Canadian visa workers and then missing three weeks in December due to a lower body injury. Valiev was the second-leading scorer amongst Kootenay defenseman behind 20-year-old Jagger Dirk, finishing with 5 goals and 23 assists, and was +27 with 68 penalty minutes. Kootenay finished fourth in the Central Division and defeated Calgary in the first round before falling to Medicine Hdaat in a seven game, second round series. Valiev scored 1 goal with 8 assists and was -5 with 16 penalty minutes in 13 playoff games. He was -1 with no points and 2 penalty minutes in two games during the Subway Series. Valiev was ranked 83rd amongst North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings and was selected by Toronto in the third round (68th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft. Valiev signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Maple Leafs in July 2014.

Talent Analysis

Valiev is a dynamic skating defenseman. He has offensive ability and is a strong stickhandler. He also displays an edge to his game and is willing to drop the gloves to protect teammates.

Future

Valiev impressed at Toronto's prospect camp, earning an entry-level contract and attended the Maple Leafs' main camp before being returned to Kootenay for the 2014-15 season. Now in his second WHL season with the Ice he also represented Russia at the 2015 World Juniors. Valiev's combination of size, skill and combativeness suggest he can be an effective top pairing defenseman at the NHL level one day. The key to him reaching that level will be his consistency.

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