Sergachev thinks he’s ready for Lightning, NHL next season
The Tampa Bay Lightning landed a tantalizing prospect when they traded Jonathan Drouin for Mikhail Sergachev. Even so, the question is: when will they begin to see what the promising defenseman is capable of?
If Sergachev has his way, he’ll jump right into the Lightning lineup in 2017-18, as NHL.com reports.
“I have to have a good summer, first of all, I have to be stronger,” Sergachev said. “I have to be faster to play in the NHL overall to be successful. But I also played a lot in juniors, two years for me, I think is a lot and in Russia I played one year too.
“So I played a lot in juniors and I learned a lot from Windsor … so I think I’m ready for the NHL.”
The Lightning added Dan Girardi to a mix highlighted by Victor Hedman, Anton Stralman, and Braydon Coburn. They also have the likes of Andrej Sustr, Jake Dotchin, and Slater Koekkoek under contract.
It’s conceivable that Sergachev could leap over those last three, and some might even hope that he’d be in one of the top two pairings.
Naturally, that’s for Lightning management to decide.
They also could look at this as a win-win situation. If Sergachev’s ready at 19, great. If not, they would get a nice bonus in a coniditional draft pick from that Drouin trade:
Condition on the picks in Tampa-Montreal trade is that if Sergachev plays 40 games for Bolts next season, there are no picks exchanged.— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 15, 2017
After the rough 2016-17 season, it’s hard to imagine Sergachev being held back to leap a few rounds in the 2018 NHL Draft, although that scenario stands as another reminder that the blueliner also shouldn’t take a spot for granted.