Irresponsible Rumormongering

Rangers favorites to land Alexei Bereglazov – but who is he?

alexei bereglazov

Per Elliotte Friedman, the Rangers are considered the favorites for KHL defenseman Alexei Bereglazov. This is only one of the hopefully many prospect signings the Rangers will be making this offseason and I think Berglazov is a nice start for a project defenseman.

Only 22 years old, the 6’4 Russian defenseman is a very nice prospect to add to the pool as many of these big defensemen take a longer while to develop. The good news is that in his last three seasons in the KHL, Bereglazov has been developing and improving in all facets of his game. When discussing him, we should really talk about his playing style. He is a big, physical, defensive defenseman who uses his size and brains to his advantage in the zone. His positioning is very good as well.

The biggest issue in my opinion is the size of the KHL rink on the rush. He is not a great skater, but he is certainly not porous. Most Russian players, even the big defensemen, have had skating stressed during their early training. But his issue is when the speedy smaller players come in with more space.

For most players, Bereglazov uses his wingspan very well to push players to the boards but on the larger rink, smaller and faster guys give Bereglazov a problem. This is probably a nice risk for the Rangers to take, as the rinks in the NHL and AHL are smaller and could hide these issues. If Bereglazov continues to improve on his skating, maybe he would actually be better at defending on the rush in North America.

Some may ask why the Rangers going after a left handed defenseman. Other than having more prospects, one of the things that make Bereglazov an interesting add is the fact that he can also play the right side. I want to watch more games, but it does seem as when he is on the right side he is more defense oriented but on the left he is willing to take more chances offensively.

Bereglazov has also added offense to his game, so at the very least he can be a pretty nice defenseman in the AHL. We can get a better look at what to expect by looking at his numbers as well.

Bereglazov is 41st among KHL defensemen in hits and 33rd in blocked shots. That may raise red flags regarding how good (or not) of a possession player he is, but I think there are more things to look at. One thing really interesting is that even with his play in the defensive zone. Bereglazov only has 16 PIMs this season. He doesn’t really chase much due to his solid positioning, which leads to fewer penalties.

While the base stat line (1-18-19) isn’t flashy, Bereglazov actually generates a lot of shots while on the ice and has consistently over the course of the season. He takes 1.4 more shots per 60 minutes than the league average, but he only has the one goal to his name. I find it really hard to believe that a player that generates that many shots will continue to shoot 0.9%.

This suggests one of two things. Bereglazov either bad luck, or he has a bad shot from the point. Personally I think it is bad luck, as this is a player that doesn’t really hesitate coming down from the point to get a scoring chance. This is something to keep an eye on, should the Rangers land him.

When it comes to exiting the zone and the transition game, Berglazov has also shown ability to pass the puck out of the defensive zone. He usually doesn’t skate out with the puck, but he does have patience to wait for the pass more than most other defensemen. As seen by the visual, he is also one of the top playmaking KHL defensemen despite having minimal powerplay time. All these add up to a base stat line that could be misleading. If the Rangers land him, he could be a solid find.

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  • Looking at the Wolfpack, assuming Graves comes to NY next season, there’s a good chance Bereglazov instantly becomes Hartford’s best D if he signs with the Rangers, right?

    Based on that alone I think signing him is a no brainer. Is there even a downside to signing him?

    • should we assume that? he hasn’t even been brought up for an NHL look during this season or last.

    • Went to the Wolf Pack in Bridgeport this last weekend and i don’t see Graves making the team next year out of camp. He did not look that great

      • To me, Graves has looked excellent the last two training camps. One preseason game, two years ago against the Flyers, where he bullied Simmonds around the crease most of the night, sticks out in my mind. Mind you he was only 20 then.

        What I remember about Graves is that for a big man he skates very well. Not a burner, but he did not look awkward on the ice, like other big bodied, young Ds.

        Does that sync up with what you saw in Bridgeport?

  • Always good to sign a big defenseman with some talent, Might be a good idea not to piss off Buchnevich in the final weeks of the season for just this type of reason. He may be the pipeline to the KHL.

    Me thinks the NYR are taking the quantity approach to defense anyway and not the quality approach (tongue in cheek, relax).

    • He’ll make more in the A than he would in the KHL. That league is awash in red ink, Zagreb just quit the league because of it.

        • The very one. After the 1st two seasons, attendance dwindled as the closest team was in Bratislava, 4-1/2 hours away and the team rarely competed.

          When the fans went away, sponsors who had been guaranteed eyeballs began to pay out less. So back to the Austrian league, where the farthest teams are closer their nearest rival in the KHL

          Proximity matters, but rarely making the playoffs doesn’t build rivalries either.

          The top teams in the KHL would compete with the best of the A but would have problems against the worst teams in the NHL. Get to the next tier and the drop off is marked. Fringe NHLers are stars in Kazakhstan. Fringe AHL players are the best for Zagreb.

          • Any over/under from the Vegas Sports Books yet on how quickly Keenan gets fired this time, or loses interest and bails? I’m guessing about a year should be about right.

            Seriously, wouldn’t be surprised at all of he succeeds with this project. He’s a good coach–when he’s not acting like a maniac. 🙂

          • He did win a Gagarin Cup w/ Magnitogorsk not long ago, the Chinese might eat it up for longer than most.

          • Eddie, Iron Mike actually has the distinction of being the only coach to win both a Stanley Cup and a KHL Championship. He lasted and stuck it out in Magnitagorsk and if you’ve ever seen Magnitagorsk, well let’s just say China might offer him better conditions. lol

          • Well, actually, he won the Gragarin and then shortly thereafter got fired. So much for “lasting”. Kind of the perfect combination of Keenan at his best…win but drive everyone crazy in the process with unneeded nonsense and then get canned.

            As I said, I’m just having some fun with this. I’m sure he will be fine. Maybe age has mellowed him and he’s on the proper medications now. 🙂

  • The NHL defensive zones are not that much smaller than an international rink. Although the NHL rink is 15′ narrower, the distance from the goalline to the blue line is 6′ longer. A defenseman who gets beat with speed in the transition game may not gain the benefit you might expect.

    • The 15′ is huge. This is a player that positions himself properly. Down the line (like say a Girardi) there may be issues but at 22+ it might be tough for players to move around him.

  • Bereglazov, FYI, is indeed a buddy of Buch, and they played together in Russia, and on the World team also…..I know nothing about this guy, but this could also help Buch along with a friend from the old country, whom he could hang out with. Just a thought!!!!!!

    • They definitely need to bring in a Russian player with that in mind, but that guys needs to be a veteran player, someone who can take him under his wing. Buch isn’t going to benefit much from just having another young and lost Russian kid also struggling to adapt to the North American game. That said, Gorton should bring in another Russian next year regardless of age, seems counter-intuitive to isolate players like that.

  • Projecting this guy’s future is a fool’s task. Definitely does not fit with the AV type of D-man. But hell, sign him up since the farm is as bare as Kojak’s scalp.

    • Doc

      We can only hope that AV’s time is up if, and when this kid may be ready………The only reason I took interest yesterday, on another site, reading about this kid is because of his connection with Buch, and thought that it could work well for both????????

    • How would we know if the guy wouldn’t be AV’s type of D man? It’s. it like he’s been here for a million years. I’m sure he would love to see Gorton grab him a big body that can play the position the right way. How many big guys on D has he had to work with besides the infamous Mcilrath who basically nobody thought was good.

    • Also if that’s the case then I guess they might as well get rid of Graves and Day cause they’re both big D men. Gorton obviously likes AV and I doubt he’s gonna get guys that he doesn’t think AV would play.

  • If you want to see him play, he’s #51 for Magnitorsk who won’t play until next Thursday in gm1 of the conference finals. Game should be a 9am EST start.

    All KHL playoff games streaming for free on

    Shestorkyn hasn’t got a sniff for SKA so far, the Finn ahead of him is there via seniority. When any half way decent youth is looking for an NHL contract, that’s how they keep talent.

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