Our annual Top 25 Under 25 countdown has begun! The rankings were determined by a combination of reader voting and our staff’s own voting. We then combined the reader rankings (50%) and the staff rankings (50%) to determine the top 25. To be eligible for the countdown, a player must be 24 or younger on October 3, 2018, when the 2018-19 NHL season begins.
We’re taking a look at the best and the brightest in the Los Angeles Kings organization in our sixth annual Top 25 Under 25 countdown. Coming in at #24 is Alexander Dergachyov.
Age: 21 (September 27, 1996)
2017-18 Team: SKA St. Petersburg, Spartak Moskva (KHL); SKA-Neva St. Petersburg (VHL)
2017-18 Statistics: KHL: 36 GP, 7 G, 6 A, 13 P; VHL: 2 GP, no points. (KHL Playoffs: 4 GP, no points)
Jewels Reader Ranking: 25
Jewels Staff Ranking: 25
Last Year’s Ranking: 23
Alexander Dergachyov feels a like a relic of a bygone era. Which is odd, considering he is still only 21 and has yet to play in North America. At 6’5”, 220 pounds, the Russian winger appeared custom-made for the Lombardi-era Kings when he was taken in round 3 of the 2015 NHL entry draft. But now he may find himself on a bit of an island, not good enough to crack the every day line-up of the stacked SKA St. Petersburg (KHL) but no longer intriguing to the philosophy-shifting Kings in the states.
Dergachyov is projected as a classic power forward, bulldozing his way to the front of the net with good enough hands to finish. As Eric noted in his write up last year, Dergachyov is adept at using his size to protect the puck and has solid vision on the ice, setting up his teammates when given the opportunity to play.
Which to date has been the biggest thing hampering his development. After appearing in only 31 games previous season, SKA St. Petersburg dressed him in only five games in the season’s first two months before trading him to Spartak Moscow, where he would be given an opportunity to play regularly.
With an everyday role, Dergachyov scored 6 goals and 11 points while averaging 17:12 of ice time over 31 games, up considerably from his time with St. Petersburg. He continued to show his physical edge, ranking third in hits on Moscow.
Dergachyov para Khokhlachev. Belo gol do spartak pic.twitter.com/LHh9laphaK— Рафаэль (@lowerbodyinjury) November 2, 2017
A free agent at season’s end, there appeared to be an opportunity to convince him to come stateside and attempt to begin his NHL career. Alas, St. Petersburg instead offered him a contract to return, apparently with the promise of a bigger role this time around, according to Jon Rosen.
Much like the legend of Nikolai Prokhorkin, it is unclear whether Dergachyov will ever make the difficult choice to take (considerably) less money to try his hand in the AHL, particularly with his skillset less in demand in the modern NHL. After slipping one spot on our countdown this year, it will nonetheless be interesting to follow his development this season. If he does indeed see an increase in ice time and turns the corner offensively, he could turn himself into a legitimate prospect who would eventually be worthy of an NHL contract.
If it is just more of the same, he will likely fall of our countdown all together and his stock with the Kings will surely plummet, as well.