Scoring Line’s prospect profiles continue with Mikhail Sergachyov (Sergachev). Sergachyov, a Russian native, recently finished his first season of North American hockey with the Windsor Spitfires. It was quite the season for Sergachyov, who was easily the Spitfires best defensemen. Not only was he one of their best defensemen, but he was one of their best players. Let’s take a closer look at another potential 11th overall pick.
From: Nizhnekamsk, RUS
Weight: 205 lbs
The rankings provided are the most recent rankings at the time of this writing.
ISS Hockey: 10th
Craig Button: 10th
The Draft Analyst: 11th
Future Considerations: 8th
Bob McKenzie: 8th
Draft Buzz: 10th
McKeen’s Hockey: 9th
NHL Central Scouting: 8th (NA Skaters)
Sergachyov’s rankings fall in between the 8th and 11th overall pick. There’s a decent chance that he will be gone by the time the Devils pick, but you never know what will happen at the draft. Players fall down the draft board all the time, so it’s possible he’ll be available at 11.
Sergachyov had a fantastic season for Windsor this year. He lead the Spitfires in scoring for defensemen, and was third on the team in points. He came in third for points among defensemen in the OHL with 57, and lead all defensemen with 17 goals. his 40 assists were also good for third among defensemen in the OHL. His scoring line was good for an 0.85 PPG, which is very impressive for your first North American season. Sergachyov was also a PPG player in the playoffs for Windsor, who lost in the first round to Kitchener in 5 games.
Sergachyov has a great deal of international experience as well. He has represented Team Russia on the U17 and U18 teams. He’s played at the U17 World Hockey Challenge Tournament and the U18 World Championship. Between U17 and U18, Sergachyov has put up 19 points in 21 International Jr. games.
The first quote I want to look at is this quote from Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News. Ryan writes,
“I’m getting a big Ivan Provorov vibe from Sergachev. Scouts think he’s one of the most NHL-ready players in the draft thanks to his size, skill and potential and he has done it all as an OHL rookie. Sergachev heads into the playoffs on a seven-game point streak, ending among the offensive leader for both rookies and blueliners.”
The thing that really catches my attention is scouts thinking he is an NHL-ready prospect. That’s rare to see in a defenseman, but doesn’t mean he will be in the NHL next year. He does have the size to be an NHL defenseman, but throwing an 18 year old defenseman right into the NHL probably isn’t the best idea. The Provorov comment is interesting, as the fellow Russian is one of the better defensemen prospects in the game. I’m not saying he’s going to be Provorov, but it’s interesting nonetheless.
Elite Prospects had this to say about Sergachyov:
“A dominant two-way defenceman whose tenacity and competitiveness characterize his style of play. Plays with a poise and confidence that facilitates his creativity with the puck as well as split-second decision making. Naturally fluid skater who is always looking to be engaged, if not the center, of each unfolding play. All-in-all, a diligent two-way defenceman who excels at finding ways to be a difference-maker in games.”
Steve from The Draft Analyst had this to say about Sergachyov a couple of months ago:
“Sergachev has anchored Windsor’s top pairing since the season began, logging minutes on both the top power play and penalty killing units. He possesses above-average speed, and owns a powerful stride which makes him difficult to stop when in full flight. Additionally, Sergachev is a mobile playmaker from the back end, capable of connecting on and receiving difficult passes, whether up the ice or diagonally through a maze of sticks. Most impressive is his hard shot, which he can fire with substantial velocity from the point’s deepest areas. “
Some takeaways here are that Sergachyov is a mobile skater with a powerful stride, and that he can play all situations, which is great for a defenseman. Between the Elite Prospects quote and Steve’s quote, it’s clear that Sergachyov is a gifted player, offensively and defensively. I really like how he is a two-way defenseman who can chip in points.
Some more quotes from Future Considerations and Craig Button.
“A big minute-munching blue liner who has that nice combination of size and wheels that make NHL scouts take notice. He is a feisty, mobile defenseman that can beat you with his quick first step or a solid pass. Shows nice composure when pressed in his own zone and does not panic but instead skates with the puck or will just rim it out safely. Plays it physical stepping up for the big hit and likes to physically eliminate opponents from danger areas in the defensive zone. Has a strong point shot and the ability to run a power play. High NHL upside with this kid.”
“Windsor Spitfires defenceman Mikhail Sergachyov (No. 10) can do it all. He’s an excellent skater with the quickness to jump into the attack and the requisite footwork to operate in tight areas and beat pressure. He has a very good shot and the smarts to get into offensive spots where he can make a contribution. He also can deliver body checks that make life unpleasant for opponents.”
Scoring Line’s Opinion
It’s no secret that the Devils need help offensively, but that doesn’t necessarily have to come from a forward. In today’s NHL, a mobile, puck-moving defenseman is extremely important, and that’s someone that the Devils can find in Sergachyov. Yes, the team needs forward prospects since Zacha can’t do everything on his own, but they also need a young defenseman that can potentially put up points in the NHL. Personally, I don’t think Sergachyov is there when the Devils pick at 11, but if he is, I would be perfectly happy with him being the pick. He doesn’t seem to have any glaring weaknesses in his game, and I think that’s something the Devils could use. I believe in taking the best player available, so it would depend on how the Devils have him ranked, but it wouldn’t be a bad pick at all.
(Photo via Terry Wilson/OHL Images)