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Sergachev: 'This is my time to play in the NHL'

While Steve Yzerman said they are hopeful Mikhail Sergachev can make the Lightning roster out of training camp, it's not guaranteed.

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While Steve Yzerman said they are hopeful Mikhail Sergachev can make the Lightning roster out of training camp, it's not guaranteed.

16

June

Defenseman Mikhail Sergachev found out he got traded to the Lightning in a wild way.

It wasn't from his agent, GM Steve Yzerman or Montreal's Marc Bergevin.

A fan broke the news.

Sergachev, 18, was on vacation in Cypress Thursday and his phone had trouble receiving calls, so he didn't get one from Bergevin that he was traded by the Canadiens to the Lightning in the Jonathan Drouin blockbuster.

"Some fan texted me and said, 'Good luck in Tampa,'' Sergachev said Friday. "I'm like, 'What?'"

Sergachev, whom the Canadiens picked ninth overall in last year's draft, had just wrapped up a Memorial Cup run with his Ontario Hockey League team, Windsor. There were some mixed emotions upon hearing the news.

"My first reaction was kind of frustrated and shocked," Sergachev said. "But after that, it's an opportunity for me. I've heard a lot about the organization and they play fast hockey, they play offensive hockey, some talented players. And they've got a great coaching staff and management, it's awesome."

There's a lot of hype surrounding Sergachev, with TSN analyst and scout Craig Button saying he can be a "top pair" defenseman. NHL insiders believe he can be a "game-changing defenseman."

But while Yzerman said they are hopeful Sergachev can make the Lightning roster out of training camp, it's not guaranteed. If Sergachev doesn't, he'll have to be returned to juniors for another year. (If he plays at least 40 NHL games next year, there will end up being no draft picks as part of the trade). Fans can get their first up close look at Sergachev at the upcoming development camp June 27-July 1 in Brandon. Here's a highlight reel of Sergachev from last season.

Sergachev thinks he's ready for the NHL.

"I've played a lot in juniors and I learned a lot in those years," he said. "And I feel like this is my time to play in the NHL and I'll do my best and play my best to make the Lightning roster."

[Last modified: Friday, June 16, 2017 1:31pm]

    

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