Quick Strikes: Mikhail Sergachev opens up about getting traded to Tampa Bay Lightning

It’s an all-defense version of Quick Strikes!

Editor’s note: Please welcome Hardev Lad (@hardevlad on twitter) to Raw Charge — he will be covering weekend news!

The Bolts

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s newest blue chip prospect, Mikhail Sergachev, opens up about how it felt being traded for Jonathan Drouin, the comfort of having lots of fellow Russians in the Tampa Bay Lightning organization, and what it’s like to have Steve Yzerman as your GM in a video interview with Championat.ru. Here is an initial Reddit translation. Our Raw Charge translators are working on a better one, out soon!

The Bolts have a surplus of NHL defensemen. BoltsGuy04 dives into what needs to happen with the Lightning’s defense core before the offseason is over. “The Lightning have seven defensemen under one-way contracts this year. They also might have to seriously consider adding blue-chip prospect Mikhail Sergachev to their roster... Koekkoek, Dotchin, and Sergachev all need to play. They are not going to gain anything valuable from buttering popcorn in the press box.” [Raw Charge]

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s High School Hockey League is looking for players!

The Pipeline

During the Lightnings ECHL Affiliate Kalamazoo Wings first round series, captain Ben Wilson was suspended indefinitely after several crosschecks directed toward a Toledo player. We now know the extent of the suspension: “Kalamazoo’s Ben Wilson has been suspended for a total of 20 games... Wilson missed the final five games of Kalamazoo’s Central Division Semifinals series against Toledo, and will miss the first 15 games of the 2017-18 regular season.“ [ECHL]

The initial incident can be found here: Kalamazoo Wings Captain Ben Wilson Suspended Indefinitely

Top 25 Under 25

23 -- Matthew Spencer, 44th overall draft pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2015, is looking to renergize his development at the pro level: “Spencer is a guy that hasn’t lived up to the potential some saw in his as a 16-year old. There are some scouts that expected Spencer to materialize into one of the best prospects in hockey, but after four years of junior, he is going to have to show a lot in Syracuse to prove that he has legitimate NHL potential.“ [Raw Charge]

24 -- Tampa Bay Lightning’s Libor Hájek battled through a tough season: "Despite playing on a reasonably bad team, 6'2, 196 lb Hájek, who carried the A, did credibly last season. He earned 4 goals and 22 assists in 65 games played for the Blades -- but even more than that, tried to keep his team tough to play against. His 81 PIM was second only to 20-year-old undrafted teammate Evan Fiala." [Raw Charge]

25 -- Tampa Bay Lightning’s Erik Cernak is a newcomer to the organization: "Since joining the Otters, Cernak has put up 36 points in 91 games played. He added another 15 points in 35 games in the playoffs and two points in five games in the Memorial Cup Finals. Despite the Otters’ high powered offense, Cernak did not rack up points. He is a more physical, stay-at-home defensemen that fits the mold of where Steve Yzerman has been steering the team’s defensive corps." [Raw Charge]

The Game

Former Bolt Nikita Nesterov thanks his former team as he leaves the NHL after signing a 3 year deal with CSKA Moscow. Nesterov was a 5th round pick (148th overall) by the Bolts in 2011 and was part of the organization, playing 119 games and registering 28 points, before being traded to Montreal for Jonathan Racine and a 2017 6th round pick.

After a career cut short by back spasms, New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein is retiring from the NHL. “The most likely path for the 32-year-old defenseman moving forward appears to be a career in Europe.” [Blue Shirt Banter]

Oh and btw: