Instead, because of poor cellphone reception while on vacation, the ninth-overall pick from the 2016 draft found out about the trade on Twitter.
“Some fan texted me and said, ‘Good luck in Tampa,’ and I was like, ‘What?’” Sergachev told Bryan Burns of TampaBayLightning.com. “My phone doesn’t work here in Cyprus, so Marc Bergevin couldn’t call me.”
The defenceman, acquired in exchange for Jonathan Drouin, played only four games with the Canadiens and spent the rest of the season with the Memorial Cup-champion Windsor Spitfires. Sergachev had been looking forward to a career with the Original Six franchise, which is why he didn’t know what to think when it first happened.
“My reaction was like, I don’t know,” the 18-year-old said. “When I got drafted by the Habs, I was a big fan of them and I played for them. But then I got traded and first reaction was I was kind of frustrated and shocked but after that, it’s a new opportunity for me.”
The Russian is coming off a solid 2016-17 campaign with the OHL’s Spitfires, scoring 43 points in 50 regular-season games.
Sergachev’s goal is to be an everyday NHLer next season and having a player like Victor Hedman now to look up to could serve him well.
“I’ve heard a lot about the organization and they play fast hockey and they play offensive hockey,” Sergachev added. “They have some great players and they have a great coaching staff and management…I feel like I had enough juniors and I played a lot in juniors and I learned a lot in those two years. I feel like this is my time to play in the NHL, and I’ll do my best and I’ll play my best to make the Lightning roster.”