On Wednesday, former second-round pick Alexandr Kisakov signed an entry-level contract with the Buffalo Sabers organization.
The 53rd overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, the Buffalo Sabers have added another potentially dominant puzzle piece to their organization in Alexandr Kisakov. The 19-year-old spent most of the 2021-22 season playing for the MHL’s MHK Dynamo Moskva, leading the club with 56 points in 51 games.
A versatile player, Kisakov can play both left wing and center, and he comes to the organization at a time when many of his young talents like Jack Quinn and JJ Peterka will rise through the NHL ranks. So where does Kisakov fit into this puzzle?
Alexandr Kisakov signs entry-level deal with Buffalo Sabers organization: How he fits in
A dynamic marker, Kisakov compiled 73 points in 61 games in 2020-21, giving him a total of 124 points (62 goals) over the past two seasons. Given his lightness, Kisakov is one of those rare skaters who is good at changing direction at will, even when facing opponents. This ability makes him ideal for breakaways and getting the puck on the ice.
With shorter strides, however, Kisakov is not a fast skater, something Ben Kerr of The last word on sports underline. Instead, he relies solely on agility to get the puck away from defenders and to find ways to open up when he’s not in possession of the puck.
Despite his offensive ability, Kisakov remains a work in progress. He made a four-game appearance with his team’s parent club in the KHL, but was hardly a factor. Expect him to spend time in the AHL ranks for 2022-23 and expect the Sabers to try to add some bulk to his ultra-skinny frame. If his offensive play continues in the MHL, expect a Jack Quinn-JJ Peterka-type season in Rochester from Kisakov.
However, Kisakov must also work on perfecting his defensive game if he is to have any chance of joining the main Sabers roster. Look for at least one, if not more years of development in the AHL and eventual appearance in the NHL if needed, at least until 2024.
(Statistics provided by Elite Prospects)