Yuri Alexandrov, D
June 24, 1988
Boston's 2nd choice, 37th overall in 2006
Signing status: Signed through 2012
Physical: Lacks ideal size for a defenseman at the NHL level with average height and below average strength at this stage of his development. . Good, not great skater. Accelerates out of the blocks well, but does not possess the kind of straight-line speed (forwards or backwards) or the lateral quickness to rate him as a "plus" skater. Very good passer; makes a crisp first pass and can transition the play from defense to the attack very well with his ability to put the puck on a player's tape and spring the jail break. Excellent in puck distribution, especially on the power play, where time and space is opened up in the offensive zone. Shot is only average; lacks the kind of power and heaviness that distinguishes other top point shooters from their peers. Struggled with his positional play and reads in AHL last season; has a lot of work to do and coaches indicated that something was lost in translation with the instructional aspect of developing him. Physical game is below average; will use his body to leverage players off the puck, but does not make big open ice hits and has problems moving big, strong power forwards from the front of his net.
Intangibles: Smart and experienced; has been playing against men since age 17, so no player in Boston's system has done more at a high level than Alexandrov has. Relies on his hockey IQ to make plays at both ends of the ice, though is more of an offensive presence/puck-moving defender than he is a shutdown presence. Was named captain of the Russian WJC team at age 19, so he does bring good immeasurables like leadership to the mix. Lack of English skills were a hindrance to his rocky transition to North American hockey and culture last season.
Bruins 2011 Development Camp Assessment
Did not attend
On talent alone, Alexandrov has the look of a second-pairing defender and low-end No. 3 or solid No. 4. However, his stock is down after a tough rookie AHL season that exposed some flaws in his defensive game. He had a tough time transitioning to North America, but could bounce back this season because he has the reputation as a hard worker and leader. He was once an early second-round pick in 2006, but he'll need to show a lot more than he did in 2010-11 to see that selection pay off for Boston. His spot on the list at 15 has more to do with the upside and flashes of intriguing talent he showed than for what he's actually accomplished. Barring some kind of huge breakthrough, he has virtually no chance of unseating the Boston top-six, but he could compete with Steve Kampfer for a spot as the seventh D. He'll have his work cut out for him, however, and he needs to play, not sit, so Providence might be the best place for him.
“Obviously, there’s a language barrier there and [there's] cultural differences. Once he’s on the ice, he feels most comfortable and that’s a good thing. But there’ll be systematic things and nuances he’ll have to figure out. We’ve tried to attack that communication and tried to get better at it because there is a gap there. And the onus falls on him a little bit to understand that and immerse himself in that.”- Bruins Assistant GM Don Sweeney on Alexandrov, Wilmington, Mass.; July 10, 2010
“You can tell when the game starts, his positional play, his understanding and his stick positioning is very, very good,” Sweeney said. “You can tell that’s been taught and built into his game. When you play against bigger and stronger players, you have to develop those techniques and he’s done that."- Bruins Assistant GM Don Sweeney on Alexandrov, Wilmington, Mass.; July 10, 2010