2011-12: Alexander Delnov skated for Mytischi Atlant in Russia’s MHL (U-22 league) and represented Russia at the 2012 U18 World Junior Championship. In 47 games he scored 11 goals with 11 assists and was plus-one with 16 penalty minutes. In five playoff games he was scoreless and minus-two with 2 penalty minutes. Delnov played in all six games for Russia at the WJC, scoring 1 goal with 2 assists, and was an even plus-minus with 12 penalty minutes. Russia finished fifth in the tournament. Not among the European players listed in Central Scouting’s final rankings, Delnov was selected by Florida in the fourth round (114th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft and was taken by Seattle in the first round (eight overall) of the CHL Import Draft.
2012-13: Delnov made his North American pro hockey debut in April, joining Panthers AHL affiliate San Antonio in April following his first season with the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds. In six games with the Rampage he was -2 with no points nor penalty minutes. San Antonio missed the AHL playoffs after finishing last in the South Division. Delnov scored 20 goals with 29 assists in 69 WHL games with Seattle and was -33 with 33 penalty minutes. The Thunderbirds finished fourth in the U.S. Division and lost to Kelowna in a seven-game playoff series (5 of 7 games went to overtime). Delnov scored 2 goals with 2 assists and was +4 in the series.
2013-14: Delnov was the second-leading scorer for Seattle Thunderbirds behind defenseman Shea Theodore (Anaheim) in his second WHL season and skated for Russia against the WHL all-stars in the Subway Series. He scored 29 goals with 34 assists and was -7 with 42 penalty minutes in 71 regular season games. The Thunderbirds finished second in the U.S. Division and reached the second round in the playoffs. Delnov scored 4 goals and was -3 with 8 penalty minutes in nine playoff games. He had 1 assist and was +1 in his only Subway Series game. Delnov signed a two-year contract with Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk in the KHL in May 2014.
Delnov is a versatile player with high-end skills and excellent skating abilities. He is a big player and uses that size in his physical play. Delnov plays a North American style of game, works hard down low and in the corners, and has shown some scoring touch and offensive prowess. He will need some bulk to compete at the pro level and his defensive game is inconsistent at times.
Delnov signed a two-year KHL contract in May and did not attend development camp with the Panthers — leading to speculation about his NHL future prospects. He has appeared in two KHL games with Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk in 2014-15, spending most of the season with the club's junior team, Mamonty Yugry where he is among the team's leading scorers. As with overage players putting up big numbers in major juniors, 21-year-olds scoring consistently in the MHL are not uncommon but those numbers do not necessarily translate to NHL success. Delnov's technical skills are impressive but until he produces those type of results at the pro level it is difficult to predict his long-term potential.