Weight: 205 pounds
Date of birth: June 25, 1998. Nizhnekamsk, Russia
OHL Draft: Round 1, 6th overall, 2015 CHL Import Draft
If Chychrun is the overwhelming top defenseman, and Juolevi is the consensus second, then Sergachyov is the frontrunner of the next tier. Admittedly, it’s based on my limited live viewings but many more on video, but I have to say Sergachyov has the ability to be right there with Juolevi. Sergachev made my preseason poll of OHL GM’s/Coaches/Scouts as the third OHL defender to be taken in the 2016 NHL Draft.
Sergachev comes with a wealth of international experience. He’s played on Russia’s Under-18 and Under-17 squads appearing at the World Hockey Challenge U-17 – winning a gold medal – and World Junior Championship U-18. He played junior hockey for the MHL’s (Russia’s junior league) Irbis Kazan where he scored two goals and six assists in 25 games.
Following his selection at the CHL Import Draft, Spitfires GM Warren Rychel said “I was a little nervous, but I’m glad he fell to me. I think, if I had the chance, I would have taken him No. 1”.
Rychel joined a large group of observers at the Under-17 in Sarnia, Ontario where Sergachev at times dominated. You can add NHL Central Scouting’s chief scout Mark Seidel to the group of impressed onlookers. “Guaranteed first rounder in the 2016 NHL Draft. A really good player, He was dominant at times at the Under 17.”
Sergachev possesses excellent hands. He reads plays very well and has excellent anticipation. He has a powerful skating stride and can surprise with his excellent acceleration. He doesn’t have high end top speed but he is not slow. His stride is somewhat awkward, but he’s a smooth skater.
Sergachev has shown an ability to join the rush but is careful about picking his spots. He has the vision to make a play and has excellent puck possession skills. He possesses an overpowering shot from the point – an NHL shot. There’s subtleness in his movements on the point that allows him to make plays or get shots through with a purpose.
Defensively, Sergachev is tough to play against. Besides his physical aspect, he uses a very active stick, is able to contain the opposition and separates opponents from the puck with relative ease. He doesn’t shy away from the physical game; in fact he looks for it. He’s hard to beat in battles along the boards and while protecting his net. He’ll engage in the extracurricular activities (a.k.a. scrums) with no hesitation. He plays in all situations and is averaging 23 minutes in even strength time on ice.
Sergachev was on NHL Central Scouting’s players to watch list as a B prospect – a 2nd or 3rd rounder. Admittedly, that was in the preseason. But to me, he’s shown that he’s a first rounder. How high will depend on whether he can maintain his current pace defensively while continuing to improve his offensive game. I have no doubt that he can do both.