Who will be the first defenseman in the 2016 NHl Draft? Jakob Chychrun? Olli Juolevi? Or could it be Mikhail Sergachev of the Windsor Spitfires?

Mikhail (or Misha) Sergachev is a 6’3″, 206 lbs defenseman that shoots left. He just completed his first year in North America and made the adjustment quite well from Russia. In his rookie season, Sergachev notched 57 points (17G-40A) and proved that he has potential to be a top-four defenseman and possibly a top pairing blue-liner depending on the organization. By being in Windsor’s system, he’s had to adapt his game to activate more from the blue-line, and was successful in doing so throughout the season.

To finish the season, ISS Hockey ranked Sergachev 10th overall and NHL Central Scouting ranked him 8th among North American skaters. Scouting report and coach’s comments below.

Scouting report

  • No hesistation to activate from the blue line
  • Likes to join the rush on the power play
  • Shows good hands
  • Has a quick snap shot
  • Good hockey sense, aware of where the opposing player is located and is always involved in the play
  • Still gets beat a few times, but makes up for his mistakes
  • Not scared to crash the net in the offensive zone
  • Has a powerful shot

From the coach’s mouth

Rocky Thompson (Spitfires head coach) on Sergachev activating from the blue line:

“We give him the freedom to do it. Of course there are mistakes sometimes when you do that and that’s our job to tell him what he’s looking for, when to go, when not to go. We want him to be very aggressive and active up ice. He’s got a very heavy shot. He’s been a leader in goals this year and a lot of that comes from the blue line, but he does have the ability in one-on-one skill, that if he does activate on the rush, which we encourage, that we give them the freedom to go and a forward will cover for him. It’s just not trying to force anything to allow that play to happen. If it’s not there, make the read and be conservative at times. I think he’s doing a good job, it’s learning process. That’s definitely a strength of his game, offensive awareness and he’s got great strength in his legs. He uses that to break the puck out a lot of times. He’s a one-man break out machine. It’s so important at the next level to be able to do that.”

On Sergachev’s transition to North America:

“He’s gotten a lot better. What he’s really improved at is working the blue line. He wasn’t very good at it. He wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t a strength. His head wasn’t up. Over the course of the year, we’ve done a lot of work with him in practice, etc. He’s a great student and loves being on the ice. He loves doing the work, and when you do the work, you get rewarded.”

Mikhail Sergachev could easily jump into the top six picks, but shouldn’t fall past 11 or 12.

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