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Drafted in the first round, 19th overall by SKA St. Petersburg in the 2013 KHL Draft, Alexander Dergachyov hasn’t seen any time with the big club yet, but has been a fairly dominant player with their MHL (Russian Junior League) affiliate scoring 10 goals and 39 points in 45 regular season games and adding 11 goals and 18 points in 19 MHL playoff games. His 11 playoff goals led the league. He has also been a member of Team Russia at a number of international events, including the 2014 IIHF Under 18 World Championships, the Subway Super Series, and the 2015 World Junior Hockey Championships. With one goal and four assists in seven games, Dergachyov helped the Russians to a silver medal in the tournament. The fact that Dergachyov has two years remaining on his three year deal with SKA St. Petersburg is one issue that NHL teams will have to take into account.
Centre — shoots Left
Born September 26 1996 — Langepas, Russia
Height 6.04 — Weight 201 [193 cm/91 kg]
Combining outstanding size, and some very good skill, Alexander Dergachyov has many of the attributes that NHL teams are always searching for. He has very good hands, and can get around defenders or finish in tight to the net. His goal scoring potential is limited though. While he has a powerful shot, he needs to work on his release. It takes him a little bit too long to load up and get his shot off. Dergachyov has decent vision and play making ability. He protects the puck well in the cycle game, and wins board battles, which he then is able to use to create opportunities for teammates. He uses his size and his leverage well, in playing a gritty game, retrieving loose pucks, establishing position in front of the net, and winning battles along the boards. He does get in quickly on the forecheck, pressuring defenders and creating turnovers in the offensive zone.
Alexander Dergachyov is a very good skater, especially for his size. He has above average speed and acceleration. However it is his strength, and power that really set him apart. Dergachyov is able to take advantage of his powerful lower body to gain leverage and win board battles. He also has the ability to fight through checks and take the puck to the net. Dergachyov shows decent agility, which combined with his good stick handling can make him a threat in one-on-one situations, whether that be off the rush, or in working the cycle game.
Alexander Dergachyov is willing to bring his gritty game in all three zones. He helps out by backchecking and helping his teammates to contain the cycle game down low. His long stick can be used to poke check opponents and to cut down on passing lanes. He is already an accomplished penalty killer, creating turnovers and getting the puck down the ice. When he is able to create turnovers at even strength, he is able to transition quickly to the attack. Dergachyov’s two-way game, including his face-off skills will be extremely important at the next level.
Dergachyov has the potential to be a strong two-way second line centre, if he is able to reach his potential. That said he can make it as a third or fourth liner if his game doesn’t develop. A lack of high end offense seems to be the biggest thing missing for Alexander Dergachyov right now. His style is reminiscent of Vladimir Sobotka, though this is a stylistic comparison and not a talent based one.
Below are some highlight videos of Alexander Dergachyov in action.
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Main Photo: mhl.khl.ru