A decorated season for Columbus draft pick Vitalii Abramov got even better Monday.
Abramov, a third-round pick of the Blue Jackets in the 2016 draft, was named a finalist for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's MVP award, the Michel Brière Trophy, today.
The 18-year-old Russian already has won the league's scoring title while playing for the Gatineau Olympiques. In his second season in the league, Abramov notched 46 goals and 58 assists for a total of 104 points in 66 games. As a rookie in the Q last season, Abramov captured the RDS Cup, awarded annually to the top rookie in the QMJHL, following a 38–55–93 campaign.
Just 5-9, Abramov clearly has a knack for finding the net despite his size, which can be credited to both his skills and a fearless nature.
"While Abramov is small by pro standards, his high-end skill set and skating ability will allow him to be an effective player at higher levels," one prospects report said of Abramov before the season.
The QMJHL is one of three leagues in the Canadian Hockey League, the NHL's top feeder system and where the best junior players from Canada and some from around the world lace 'em up before heading to the pros. Each of the NHL's top four scorers at the moment played in the CHL, with Sidney Crosby and Brad Marchand skating in the Q. Crosby was twice named the QMJHL MVP, an award also won by such current NHLers as Anthony Mantha, Jonathan Drouin, Sean Couturier and Mike Hoffman.
The other finalists for the award are Chicoutimi center Nicolas Roy, who had 36 goals and 44 assists in 53 games, and the league's top-scoring defenseman, Samuel Girard of East Division champ Shawinigan, who had nine goals and 66 assists in 59 games. Roy is a 20-year-old Carolina draft pick, while Girard, 18, is a Nashville prospect.
The award will be presented April 5.