Sergei Plotnikov

Mark Allan




Sergei Plotnikov, LW/RW

Shoots: L

Height: 6-2

Weight: 203

Born:  1990-06-03

Hometown:  Komsomolsk-na-Amure, RUS

Drafted: Undrafted








June 2016- The Sergei Platnikov experiment has seemed to have failed as he was not given a qualifying offer by the Arizona Coyotes and is now a unrestricted free agent. After being acquired at the trade deadline, the Russian had just one assist in 13 games with the Yotes, finishing the 2015-16 season with just three assists in 45 games. It seems doubtful Platnikov will be back in the NHL for 2016-17 and will most likely return to the KHL. Keith Duggan

February 2016 – With just two assists in 32 NHL games, the disappointing Russian was dealt to the Arizona Coyotes at the trade deadline for disappointing German forward Matthias Plachta and a conditional 2017 seventh-round draft pick. Signed by the Penguins with mild fanfare to a one-year entry-level contract as an undrafted free agent last summer, the 25-year-old Plotnikov never found his scoring touch in Pittsburgh and was a frequent healthy scratch. Perhaps the desert will be more to his liking than Steeltown. Mark Allan

February 2016 – The burly Russian's future is murky. After being signed as a free agent to be an immediate mature presence and receiving every chance to succeed as a top-six forward, Plotnikov is expected to be a healthy scratch for a 15th straight game. That's what happens when you have a mere two assists in 32 outings and younger prospects are helping the Penguins to claw for a playoff berth. Mark Allan

January 2016 – Earlier hopes that the KHL graduate would be a top-six forward have dimmed, to the point where he played only 7:12 in a recent game, then was a healthy scratch in the next two. While he can be a physical presence, he has a mere two assists in 32 games as an NHL rookie, raising the possibility of a demotion to the AHL. Mark Allan 

October 2015 – Although he began the season on the second line with Evgeni Malkin and Pactric Hornqvist, the mature Russian rookie has just one assist in five games. While he's a willing mucker and hitter, the jury is out on his offensive potential. Watch and wait. Mark Allan 

October 2015 – The 25-year-old refugee from the Kontinental Hockey League has not only made a strong case to stick with Pittsburgh this season; it now looks like he will do so at left wing on a line with Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist. Head coach Mike Johnston called the trio  "a very good line” after they combined for two goals and six points in a 4-2 pre-season win over the Lightning. Malkin acknowledged his fellow Russian has good chemistry with him and their Swedish right winger. Plotnikoff, who has played his entire pro career in the KHL, could be effective down low on the attack and a physical presence on defense. Mark Allan

September 2015 – The Russian rookie continued to impress in the pre-season by scoring just 14 seconds into a 4-2 victory over Tampa Bay. Linemates Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist assisted. Plotnikov seems a cinch to make Pittsburgh's opening-day roster, although line placement and his offensive upside are still to be determined. Mark Allan 

September 2015 – The free agent signing assisted on a Phil Kessel goal with 10 seconds to go in a 4-2 pre-season loss to Columbus. The rambunctious Russian continues to impress with his physical involvement, adding two hits and a takeaway. Plotnikoff is making a strong bid to start the season in Pittsburgh, although it's unclear what his offensive upside might be. Watch him carefully. It's conceivable he could replace the aging Chris Kunitz as a puck mucker on the top line with Crosby and Kessel, although it's more likely he finds himself in the bottom six. Mark Allan 

September 2015 – Aside from his name, the off-season free-agent signing resembles a stereotypical raw-boned Prairie farm boy much more than a typically speedy, skilled Russian. Plotnikov uses his size and strength to play a physical style. No Pavel Bure on his skates, he compensates with diligence, awareness and a good shot. Like a rawboned farm boy, he goes to the opponent’s net to create havoc and pot point-blank shots. In 56 games last season with Yaroslavl of the KHL, he totalled 15 goals, 36 points and 71 penalty minutes as well as being plus-4. After leading Yaroslavl in scoring the previous two seasons, Plotnikov was named assistant captain for 2014-15, indicating he has some positive intangibles. It’s easy to imagine Plotnikov earning a spot on Pittsburgh's third line. If aging Chris Kunitz can’t halt the slide in his production and if coach Mike Johnston wants a top-six physical presence, the Penguins’ new Russian might dig pucks out of corners for Crosby or Malkin.  Watch him at Pittsburgh's training camp. Mark Allan


Fantasy Outlook: C-

Playing with men at age 15 and debuting in the KHL at 19, the well-built Russian has not acclimated rapidly to the NHL as expected. Plotnikov's dominant scoring in Russia's top junior league has not translated yet to NHL production.



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