Alexander Perezhogin is a speedy winger who possesses size and abilities to earn a spot in the NHL. Alexander skates very well and uses his strong acceleration to create scoring chances. Though Alexander is considered a natural scorer by many experts, he is also a solid playmaker, able to create opportunities not only for himself but also for his teammates. If he can’t get past the defense with his good puck handling abilities, he can make a solid pass to one of his teammates. Another great upside of Alexander is his constant determination and his work ethic. Vladimir Plyuschev, head coach of the gold winning 2001 U18 World Junior Championships Russian Team (and now head coach of the Russian U20 Junior program) describes Alexander Perezhogin’s game as such:
“Usefullness, an amazing determination and a all out effort. It is unfortunate that not always his efforts turn into goals, he is not always lucky in finishing. Though he was amongst our best in his contribution. I am very happy with Sash [Alex –EB], he is a great guy”.
There are some concerns regarding the winger’s eventual arrival in the NHL. One of the main concerns is his ability to play when removed from his current situation in the Omsk system. Alexander has played for quite some time on a very successful line with Andrei Tatarukhin and Alexander Golovin. In some international events Golovin did not make the team and was substituted on the line with another one of Alexander’s teammates Stanislav Chistov, who himself can make anyone look like a super star on the U18 level. So, it remains to be seen if Alexander can succeed and quickly acclimate to a new environment with new partners.
Back In Russia:
Alexander Perezhogin started his hockey career in Ust Kamenogorsk in the Soviet republic of Kazakhstan. Five years ago he made a journey from Kazakhstan to Omsk along with his head coach Sergei Gersonsky, who became the head coach of Avangard’s farm team Avangard VDV. Ever since then he has steadily developed in Avangard’s system. During the last few seasons Alexander’s line, Perezhogin – Taratukhin – Golovin, has been very successful on the farm level. With all three players developing well, the line may be ascended from the farm team to Avangard’s main line up this coming season. During the 2000-01 season Alexander finally got his chance to play on the senior team. Though, as he himself regarded it – it was only “an examination, not a debut”. He received limited ice time in the game against Lada in the playoffs and played well for Avangard. He did not create any scoring chances, but was also responsible on both ends of the ice and according to an observer of the match “did not make any mistakes to hurt his team”.
Alexander has become a full member of the Russian National Team during the 2000-01 season. He competed on the Russian U18 squad in 3 International Tournaments which included the 5 Nations Tournament in Salt Lake City and the 2001 Under 18 World Junior Championships in Finland. His best performance was on the Russian gold medal winning team in Salt Lake City where he scored 6 goals and had a very impressive +12 +/- rating while playing on the same line with fellow Avangard teammates Taratukhin and Chistov. He also looked very strong at the WJC, earning 7 points (4+3) on the high scoring and gold winning Russian National Team. On the international arena, Alexander has clearly shown his ability to compete amongst players of his age group. Vladimir Plyuschev, the head coach of the U18 WJC squad was very happy with him, and now the Plyuschev has been promoted to coaching the U20 squad, expect to see more of Perezhogin playing on the Russian National Team.
Alexander will be drafted in the first round of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. If he is not, whatever team drafts him in the second round will have quite a bargain. Alexander has a lot of potential and though some experts have called him a project, he is a very tangible quantity. Accepted that his development has not been as spectacular as that of his teammates Svitov, Chistov or Koltsov, but it has continued well. In the coming season Alexander will likely remain in Omsk and will attempt to earn a spot in the lineup of Avangard’s main team. If he does not succeed there is a possibility he may look Westward to North America, but he will likely succeed. At this point in his development it would be better for Alexander to gain experience in the Super League then coming to North America and playing the North American hockey system against Junior players instead of experienced adult players in Russia.