Mikhail Sergachev sure knows how to make a great first impression.
The swift-skating Russian became only the second rookie in Ontario Hockey League history (behind Bryan Berard in 1995) to capture the Max Kaminsky Trophy as the most outstanding defenceman after topping all blueliners with 17 goals.
A sixth overall pick of the Windsor Spitfires at the 2015 CHL Import Draft, the 6-foot-3, 206-pound defenceman collected 57 points to finish third among all league rookies in a seamless first year playing in North America.
Not surprisingly, the left-handed rearguard who owns a booming shot rapidly surged up the draft rankings this past season.
Listed as eighth among North American skaters in Central Scouting’s Final Rankings, “Misha” is a potential top pairing candidate at the next level who uses his physical stature to his advantage, and who rarely loses a puck battle due to his fierce nature.
A former forward with natural offensive instincts, the 17-year-old Sergachev has the ability to either make a crisp outlet pass or to use his above-average skating to rush the puck himself.
Spitfires GM Warren Rychel declares Sergachev as “no doubt the best defenceman not only in the OHL but the CHL.”
Sergachev will find out May 28 when the CHL Defenceman of the Year is announced at the 2016 MasterCard Memorial Cup in Red Deer.