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Red Wings Firsts: Alexey Marchenko

Rookie's attributes gives Wings' coaching staff hope for the future

Wednesday, 08.6.2014 / 12:00 AM ET / News
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Red Wings Firsts: Alexey Marchenko

Red Wings rookie Alexey Marchenko made his NHL debut last January, picking up a minor penalty for hooking with a plus-two rating in Detroit's 5-1 win at Dallas. (Photo by Getty Images)
DETROITAlexey Marchenko became the fifth Red Wings’ rookie – and the first with the nickname ‘Killer’ – to make his NHL debut last season when he appeared in Detroit’s 5-1 victory over the Dallas Stars on Jan. 4.

At 6-foot-2 and 212 pounds, Marchenko is already an imposing figure on the ice, but it was during a more relaxing sport that the Moscow native earned the moniker.

“We took him fishing with us in Traverse City,” Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “He’s a good fisherman. His nickname is Killer.”

Invited to go fly fishing for salmon last September, Marchenko was credited with catching the largest fish in the group that included Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk.

“Honestly, I’m not a big fisherman. I like it with all of the nature all around, but it was a great time during the camp,” said Marchenko, who caught a salmon that weighed 26 to 28 pounds.

“I caught one, but it was the biggest one in the group at the end when it started to get dark,” he said. “I think it was about 12-13 kilos.”

The 22-year-old Marchenko had already caught the attention of the Red Wings and the coaching staff.

“I haven’t seen him play that much, but I saw some of him in camp,” Zetterberg said. “He’s a big guy, a right-handed shot and he plays well so it’s going to be fun to see what he can do up here.

“He is a good skater and sees the ice very well and just because he’s a big guy makes it so much easier to see the ice.”

Marchenko, who was picked in the seventh round of the 2011 NHL draft, replaced defenseman Danny DeKeyser in Detroit’s lineup. DeKeyser suffered a groin injury midway through the New Year’s Day Winter Classic in Ann Arbor that caused him to miss three games.

Wings coach Mike Babcock had heard rave reviews from Grand Rapids on Marchenko, who had two goals and 16 points with a plus-15 rating in 33 AHL games with the Griffins before his call-up.

“I don’t know much about him, he played in the KHL, so he’s a real good player, he had a good camp,” Babcock said in January. “Every time I call down to Grand Rapids they say he’s their best guy. If you do well down there you get an opportunity here. It’s like anybody, you come up and try to make a case for yourself that you can stay, so that’s the opportunity he’s been given by the guys getting injured.”

Marchenko logged 82 games in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League before his arrival in North America in September. He and Datsyuk were teammates with CSKA Moscow during the lockout last season.

“Last year I was playing with CSKA during the lockout and I got to know him a little bit,” Marchenko said. “It helps a little bit because I already know him. So it was great to go fishing with those guys who are great guys even off of the ice.”

The game against Dallas was the sole NHL appearance Marchenko made with the Wings last season, in which he was paired with veteran defenseman Kyle Quincey.

“He’s a heavy guy,” Babcock said. “Evidently he can really make plays coming out of his own zone. He defends well. He’s a heavy guy, doesn’t seem to mind the heavy going.”

Marchenko finished the regular season with the Griffins with three goals and 15 assists through 49 games.

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80