Plekhanov was a surprise pick in the top 100 last draft, and most experts felt he was taken due to his strong play the previous season. He spent much of his draft year injured. This year has been a strange one for Plekhanov. After playing some games very early on with the Neftekhimik junior team, he was loaned to Molot Prikamye, but he did not play a single game for them, most likely due to the team’s severe financial crisis. Further complicating the matter is the fact that his rights were officially transferred to the Sarnia Sting (OHL) in November. It is unknown what he will be doing at this point. He has played two RSL games with Neftekhimik.
2007-08: Plekhanov was a surprise invite to Columbus’ training camp last season, and spent the year with the Syracuse Crunch, where he was very impressive in the limited games he played. Plekhanov used his combination of speed, size and shot to be one of the top offensive blue liners on the Crunch roster. However, he spent much of the season being rotated in and out of the lineup, and was even sent down to Elmira at one point. He was also impressive during the Crunch’s post-season run.
Plekhanov comes with extremely high praise from former Neftekhimik (and current Moscow Dynamo) coach Krikunov, who has reportedly referred to him as “the future NHL star.” Plekhanov does not possess great size at 6’1, 187 lbs, but has a blend of defensive smarts and offensive skills. He’s effective with his stick and is physical enough to stand up to opposing power forwards.