Montreal added some blueline help in the draft on Friday night, selecting Russian defenceman Mikhail Sergachev from Windsor of the OHL. Sergachev won Defenceman of the Year honours in the league and is the second highest drafted Russian defenceman from the CHL.
DOB: June 25, 1998 – Nizhnekamsk, Russia
Weight: 220 lbs
CSB: 8 (North American Skaters)
Hockey Prospect: 8
Future Considerations: 9
Hockey News: 8
NHL Central Scouting: “His read-and-react game is fast. He’s able to transition quickly. He’s got that focus on the ice, and he’s a guy you don’t catch out of position. It is a lot tougher to beat him 1-on-1 now than it was earlier in the year
HP Blackbook: Sergachev has all the makings of a top pairing offensive defenseman at the next level. He has to overcome defensive inconsistencies but has the hockey sense and skill to be very successful at the NHL level.
Future Considerations: He is a high end puck mover. His passes are crisp and he leads his man. Calm and composed with the puck, Sergachev makes smart plays to get the puck up ice. He is cool as a cucumber, showing absolutely no hesitation under pressure. He remains composed and relaxed with pressure or when there are no options available, never appearing flustered even in the worst of times.
TSN: Has all the requisite attributes to be a complete defenceman who can impact the game in all areas. High skill, smart, competitive and wants to make a difference.
McKeens: “His casualness is tough to take,” said one scout. “Sometimes he looks quite uninterested out there. Down the stretch, including the playoffs, with games on the line he would sometimes be asleep at the switch…leaving players alone in the slot to finish off games without so much as lifting a stick.”
LWOS: Mikhail Sergachev can do it all in both ends of the rink. He is good with the puck on his stick, showing stickhandling poise and great passing skill. He effectively starts the rush with good breakout passes, and can also break down the defence with good passes on the power play. He has high-end hockey IQ, and makes the smart play with the puck on his stick.
Draft Buzz: Not only do the numbers suggest electric potential, but so does his natural ability. Sergachev is a freak of an athlete whose skates jump off the ice with grace, power, and fluidity. He stickhandles like a first line playmaker, and rushes the puck with pull-you-out-of your-seat excitement. He is the premier point man in the draft, with a bomb of a slapshot, a howitzer of a snap/wrist shot, and effortless puck movement.
The Hockey News: The sturdy Spitfire had some GMs comtemplating him as the top blueliner available, ahead of Olli Juolevi and Jakob Chychrun.
While Sergachev is physically ready to play in the NHL, he’s likely best served to return to junior for another year or two to work on improving his defensive game.