It is hard to wipe the smile from his face on the best of days, but Alex Alexeyev was smiling maybe even a bit brighter than usual Wednesday.
The Red Deer Rebels defenceman returned early in the day from his two-game stint representing Russia in the CIBC Canada Russia Series.
Alexeyev, fresh off a 3-1 victory over Team WHL Tuesday night and sporting his grey Russia Canada Series sweater, said the experience was one he won’t soon forget.
“It was awesome, another good experience for me,” he said.
“First game, was still getting to know how other players play and how team Russia plays and the coaches.”
With game 2 of the series tied 1-1 late in the third period at the Langley Events Centre, Russia was put on the power play after a Nolan Foote high stick.
Although Alexeyev didn’t get an assist on the power play game-winner with under two minutes to play, he had a great view of it from his side of the ice.
“First period, lots of turnovers in the neutral zone and bad in the defensive zone, but in the second we spent lots of time in the offensive zone and in the third, we got the power play chance to score and we did, so it was awesome,” he said.
The defenceman said in the first game when Russia was on the wrong side of a 2-1 contest, there was some jet lag felt by his teammates and some familiarity issues.
It has been a career year for the blueliner, who was drafted in the first round, 31st overall in the 2018 NHL Draft by the Washington Capitals. He has since been on a tear in the WHL, earning WHL Player of the Week honours last week and recording a point in his last seven games.
On the season, he is third in blueline scoring with 21 points in 16 games.
With all that success and showing the coaches what he can do in the two-game mini-tryout, he hopes he earned some World Junior consideration.
“Just think I showed the coaches how I can play and hopefully make the world junior team so I can prove myself there too,” he said.
Alexeyev and the Rebels will be back in action Friday when they had to Manitoba to take on the Brandon Wheat Kings.