Tuesday, July 27, 2021

UNH Commits Stiven Sardaryan & Alex Gagne Selected in 2021 NHL Entry Draft

Stiven Sardaryan
2022 UNH Commit
Alex Gagne
Incoming UNH Freshman

2021 NHL Draft Results

In an article posted the day before the 2021 NHL Draft, I guestimated that UNH commit Stiven Sardaryan would be selected in the 5th or 6th Round and incoming UNH freshman Alex Gagne would get picked in the 7th Round. The actual results were even better. Sardaryan, a 6'1", 154 lbs., left-shot forward from St. Petersburg, Russia, was selected in the 3rd Round (88th Overall) by the Buffalo Sabres. That's the highest NHL pick of an UNH commit since defenseman Max Gildon was chosen 66th overall by the Florida Panthers in 2017.

Bedford, New Hampshire native Alex Gagne, a 6'3", 207 lbs., left-shot defenseman, was selected in the 6th Round (192nd Overall) by the Tampa Bay Lightning. In last year's NHL Draft, UNH defenseman Luke Reid and forward Filip Engarås were also drafted in the 6th Round.

Post-Draft Analysis

Stiven Sardaryan DOB: February 7, 2003. 18 years, 5 months
2020-21 Team: Red Army Moskow (MHL)
2021-22 Team: Youngstown Phantoms (USHL)
Made committment to UNH in May, 2021 at Age 18 years, 3 months.
Jerry Forton, Director of Amateur Scouting, Buffalo Sabres
"Stiven Sardaryan is coming over to play in Youngstown in the USHL this year and is committed to the University of New Hampshire. There were numerous schools that were trying to get him over here. He was a player I think the second half of the MHL season and in the playoffs, really emerged, got a little more comfortable playing in the hard areas, being a lighter body himself.

A very talented player who just needs to get a little bit bigger and stronger. A couple years away, obviously, but he's got a good path with a year in the USHL and hopefully, two or three years at the University of New Hampshire."
Ian Moran, Director of Neutral Zone NHL
"It's interesting because he's (Sardaryan) going to UNH, he's super light. Maybe he's getting the advice that he knows he's too light to play in the KHL or VHL. So he's getting the advice to come on over and train and work out and next thing you know, all of a sudden, he's 6'1", 185 lbs. He gets strong as hell on the puck and doesn't lose any speed and turns himself into a real legit NHL prospect. I think he's a kid who will do well at UNH, with his skill level and the big sheet they have there."
Alex Gagne DOB: August 12, 2002. 18 years, 9 months
2020-21 Team: Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL)
2021-22 Team: University of New Hampshire (Hockey East)
Made commitment to UNH in May, 2019 at Age 16 years, 9 months.

Ian Moran, Director of Neutral Zone NHL
"He's another kid I thought should have been taken last year. He's out of New Hampshire, he's going to UNH. I think he's a real athletic kid. He's got a good stick, he's got good size. He's patient, he doesn't rush anything. He has a nice, tight gap-stick on the ice and he forces poor decisions.

He's able to put up points but I don't think he's a true offensive guy who's going to run the power play but he's going to be a top 4 guy at UNH next season. When I talked about him last year, going into the USHL, he wasn't playing at the highest level but he just adjusted and did well, and just kept getting better and better.

He's an athletic kid who's got nothing but upside that's going to UNH and going to be playing against all the "beautiful babies" that have been top round picks. He's going to be getting key minutes. I think it's a great get. Honestly, I'm a big fan of how this kid plays. I think he’s got a real chance to play in the NHL and do well."
Michael Wax, The Bolt Report: Tampa Bay Lightning
"The Lightning have so many good defensive defenseman - Ryan McDonagh, Erik Cernak, David Savard - those guys have been great and they've added a little bit of offense to their game to make it more well-rounded. Now Gagne, if he's not going to produce offensively, at the end of the day that's fine. Not all 6th-rounders are going to improve that way.

I think he's got a leg up on a lot of the Syracuse (Crunch/USHL) and Orlando (Solar Bears/ECHL) because he's defensively responsible, he's positionally accurate most of the time, and he's a good skater. Like he can get back into position, which is something we have not said about the majority of these draft picks so far.

I think this could be a really, really good pick for the Lightning. I would say that Dylan Duke is the biggest home run of this draft but Gagne is right up there."


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