Russia's Mikhail Sergachev has entered the North American hockey world with a splash. At only 17 years of age, he has impressed everyone with his all-around game, sound decision making and his ability to be a legitimate force in the offensive end. He has posted 17 goals, 40 assists in 67 games during his inaugural season in Windsor. The #8 North American skater in the NHL Central Scouting final rankings, he has emerged as one of the top few defenders in the 2016 draft. He has earned top-pair status in Windsor, and serves on both the top power play and penalty kill units. That speaks to both ability and responsibility -- heady stuff for a 17-year old.
Position: D Current Team: Windsor Spitfires, OHL Date of Birth: June 25, 1998 Place of Birth: Nizhnekamsk, Russia Height: 6'2" Weight: 205 lbs Shoots: Left
The one knock on Sergachev's game has been that he can push the pace a little too much, which can provoke mistakes. Not shocking for a youngster who garners the adjective "smooth" from almost everyone who watches him play. He is ranked #8 overall in the ISS Rankings, so clearly the positives far exceed any perceived negatives, which likely are resolved with maturity and coaching.
Let's go to none other than Warren Rychel to weigh in on the type of talent Sergachev represents:
He's one of the best 1998-born defencemen in the world. He can do everything out there; he can shoot, he can defend, he can push the pace, He commands respect on the ice. Mikhail is a force and he makes our club better. . .
A Good Fit in Columbus?
The Blue Jackets have been big buyers of defense of late -- both via draft and trade -- so defense might not be the top priority, particularly if the draft lottery goes their way and they have a shot at an elite scorer. However, given that Sergachev is only 17, the Expansion Draft looms next year, and the blue line landscape could change, he might be just the ticket to keep the pipeline full. It will probably all come down to the draft lottery and how the first round picks progress. He's on the radar, to be sure.