By Eldon MacDonald
92. Alexei Marchenko - “Mr. Desirable” - D - Russia
Vitals: Size - 6’2”, 183 lb.; Shoots right; Born 2-Jan-92 - Moscow, RUS
Team: CSKA Moscow, MHL
34 - Cory Pronman's Top 100
92 - E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120
153 - NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings (25th European skater)
205 - Detroit Red Wings
OK, it’s 4th round and you need a power play set-up man with top notch defensive and puck moving abilities and you want a reasonable sized frame, 6’2 or up, and someone who speaks good English - in short you want a late 1st rounder or an early 2nd rounder that you can draft in the 4th round. Luckily for you, Alexei Marchenko may be available to you because he is:
2. Has had very little international exposure (although he was a top player at both the Ivan Hlinka tournament and in the World Junior Hockey Challenge in Canada at various times)
3. Is an overager because of health problems (had his spleen removed) which now appear to be over.
This year he averaged over a point per game in the MHL and had a very nice plus-minus at +33.
1st the good news: excellent vision, great skater and passer, effective puck handler, very coachable, very disciplined, solid positioning, excellent penalty killer, effective one on one, can be physical too.
Now, the need to be improved - his shot is not yet NHL caliber, hence, he is likely to be more effective as a PP set-up man a la Andrei Markov and he needs to add weight and strength to be effective on the smaller ice surfaces.
So, when it comes right down to it, the only real thing that may you hold you back is deciding on whether he is likely to come over to this side of the pond but that is why you have scouts in the 1st place and yes he does speak good English. When asked about coming over, this is what he had to say