Vancouver Canucks 2016 NHL Draft Profile: D Mikhail Sergachev

Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; A general view of the podium on stage before the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; A general view of the podium on stage before the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

The Vancouver Canucks are preparing for the 2016 NHL Entry Draft — and so are we.

Unfortunately, the 2015-16 season was cut short for the Vancouver Canucks, which means we have a long offseason ahead of us. Canucks GM Jim Benning and his staff will use the time to prepare next season’s roster, and the 2016 NHL Entry Draft will certainly play an important part in that process.

Vancouver started off strong in the fall of 2015 but ended the season with a thud. Thanks to their abysmal 28th rank in the league standings, the Canucks own seven picks early in each round. Benning did a great job in his first two years at the job and another successful draft could certainly help boost the rebuild.

Here at The Canuck Way, we will do our best to prepare you for the upcoming event by profiling as many draft-eligible players as we possibly can. Keep in mind that we are not saying these are players the Canucks are targeting. Instead, these are players that we think the Canucks could or should have interest in.

Today we take a close look at Windsor Spitfires defenseman Mikhail Sergachev!

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Name: Mikhail Sergachev

Position: Defense

Shoots: Left

Height, weight: 6’2”, 205 lbs

Team/League: Windsor Spitfires

Stats (from 







NHL CSS Ranking: 8th (North American Skaters)

Risk, Reward: 1.5/5, 4.5/5

NHL-potential: Elite Defenseman

Draft Range: Top 10

Scouting report

"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. (Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects 2016)"


Mikhail Sergachev is one of three two-way defensemen battling for the “first-picked D-man at the 2016 NHL Draft” title. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Russian can make a difference in all three zones and always looks to make an impact.

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Getting past Sergachev is not an easy task. He is a great skater with a powerful stride, both forward and backwards. Furthermore, he is very mobile and can react to dekes and quick movements thanks to terrific lateral mobility. His skating also helps him in the offensive zone where his agility allows him to walk the line and open up passing lanes.

At just 17 years old, Sergachev already has an NHL frame that he likes to use frequently. He plays a very aggressive style and uses his body to gain puck possession in the corners and likes to throw the occasional big hit, both on open ice and along the boards.

In addition, Sergachev likes to make an offensive impact. He knows how to drive the puck up ice and start the breakout, plays nice, accurate outlet passes and does his best to contribute offensively. Sergachev can distribute the puck around the offensive zone and possesses a strong, accurate shot. Those skills allowed him to record 17 goals and 57 points last season.


Sergachev is a strong two-way defenseman but needs to show his abilities more frequently. He had a few off-nights throughout the year and almost disappeared at the 2016 Under-18 World Championship in North Dakota. He failed to record a single point in the tournament and did not stand out in any other way either.

While Sergachev is a solid defensive player who excels physically, he needs to improve his defensive awareness and positioning. Especially when in front of the net, he sometimes loses his man and needs some time to recover and get back in position.

Final Thoughts

The consensus among scouts seems to be that the top six of this year’s NHL Draft will be all forwards. However, there are some scouts who would rank a defenseman in the top five — and after all, that is all it takes. The big question is who that will be.

Aside from Sergachev, Jakob Chychrun, Olli Juolevi, Jake Bean and even Dante Fabbro are all options for the top 10 or even the top five. Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning revoked his statement about favouring a D-man in the first round, but even if he wants to go for the best player available, Sergachev will be a great option.

Next: Olli Juolevi 2016 NHL Draft Profile

The problem with many offensive standout offensive defensemen like Bean is that they struggle defensively at the NHL level. For Sergachev, that might not be an issue. He is a strong skater with an NHL frame and he knows how to use his body to his advantage. Combining that with a lethal shot, good playmaking skills and great vision makes him an amazing all-around player.

Personally, I prefer Chychrun or Juolevi over Sergachev and would even select the top-six forwards over him. However, there is a lot to like about the Russian as well.