‘Going back to junior is not an option’: Sergachev feels ready to stick with Bolts

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Mikhail Sergachev got his first taste of NHL action last season, when he played four games with the team that drafted him, the Montreal Canadiens.

But this 0ff-season brought about some major changes for the 19-year-old blue liner, as Montreal traded him to Tampa Bay for forward Jonathan Drouin.

After spending the month of October with the Canadiens last season, the team felt he needed to improve his game in junior, so they sent him back to the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires, where he had 10 goals and 43 points in 50 regular season games. The Spitfires also hosted and won the Memorial Cup in 2017.

As magical as that championship run was for Sergachev and his teammates, the young defenseman is ready to take the next step in his career.

The ninth overall pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft will face some competition in training camp. But with the players the Lightning currently have signed on the blue line, Sergachev should have a decent crack at making the final roster.

Victor Hedman, Anton Stralman, Brayden Coburn, Dan Girardi and Andrej Sustr are all locks to be on the team, but a strong camp could put Sergachev ahead of Jake Dotchin and Slater Koekkoek (some would argue that Sergachev is already better than some of the guys that are “locks”).