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Prized Habs prospect Sergachev survives another round of cuts

2016 NHL Draft - Round One

BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 24: Mikhail Sergachev celebrates with the Montreal Canadiens after being selected ninth overall during round one of the 2016 NHL Draft on June 24, 2016 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Yet another feather in the cap for Mikhail Sergachev.

Sergachev, taken ninth overall by Montreal at June’s draft, survived yet another round of cuts on Monday as the Habs trimmed their roster down to 27 players.

Today’s transactions leaves Montreal with nine blueliners: Sergachev, Mark Barberio, Nathan Beaulieu, Alexei Emelin, Andrei Markov, Greg Pateryn, Jeff Petry, Zach Redmond and Shea Weber.

Sergachev, still just 18 years old, has been tantalizing onlookers in Montreal since becoming the second d-man selected in this year’s draft (Vancouver took Olli Juolevi four spots earlier). He starred at prospects camp, and impressed in his preseason debut against Ottawa.

“He played a great first game,” head coach Michel Therrien told the CP of Sergachev’s debut, in which the Russian rearguard played nearly 20 minutes. “He played with a lot of confidence for a young player. He was composed with the puck, never got rid of it for no reason.

“He was poised, he’s a good skater and he’s strong. He’s a heck of a hockey player.”

At 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, Sergachev probably has the size to compete in the NHL right away -- even if a return to OHL Windsor is the most likely move.

Sergachev’s chances of sticking around could be bolstered if Habs GM Marc Bergevin pulls the deal on a Beaulieu trade, a rumor that’s been making the rounds since early September, when Bergevin admitted he’s been receiving calls on the former first-round pick.