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 Coyotes 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.
Delnov is a versatile player with high-end skills and excellent skating abilities. He has good size at 6’0 and he uses every bit of his 190 pounds 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 needs to add a few more pounds.
Delnov will play one more season for the Thunderbirds and will be counted on as one of the team’s top players. After this season, he will likely join the professional ranks with a stint in the AHL before getting any serious consideration for an NHL roster spot.