Alexander Tertyshny: Learning, growing, and leading

Photo Credit: Patrick Garriepy- Patrick Garriepy Photography

Alexander Tertyshny has been on a unique path in his hockey life. The son of Flyers defenseman Dmitri, he never got to know him as Dmitri passed away in a tragic boating accident shortly before Alexander was born, following a breakout rookie season in the league, but still has left a legacy Tertyshny is following on. Like his father, Alexander is a puck moving defender with an ability to make others around him better. One thing that stands out about his father’s ascent to the NHL was his persistence. Dmitri took a spot on the Flyers with his play and earned a full season in the biggest league in the world.

Initially, Alexander did not want to play hockey, the first day his family put skates on him he cried. That did not last long, as he soon wanted to skate around with his friends. Before too long, he, like Dmitri ended up at defense. He enjoys the cerebral aspect to being a defender, and having the versatility to impact so many parts of the game. For inspiration and guidance, he still watches Dmitri’s games and to this day continues to learn from his father. He has spent most of his life in America, summering in Chelabyinsk, as his mom soon had help from his grandmother to raise Alexander after his father’s accident.

In his time in Pennsylvania, Alexander always knew that he would play hockey. He saw his first college hockey game in the 2013 National Championship between Yale and Quinnipiac in Pittsburgh. He remembered the speed and environment. As for his family, well they always wanted him to go the college route. As Alexander said “the deciding factor was… my mom said that Dmitri wanted to raise him in the states, get a college education, and be set for life beyond college hockey.” In addition he added that, “I kind of want to inspire more Russian players to get over here.”

After his high school career ended at Choate Rosemary Hall, he went back to his father’s hometown and put together two superb years (one full season, and one partial season) for the MHL team in his family’s hometown Belye Medvedi. They are the developmental juniors team associated with Traktor Chelabyinsk in the KHL, the program that produced current Washington center, Evgeni Kuznetsov. There, he drew the attention of many teams in the college game, but chief among them was American International College. He praised the work of former Associate Head Coach, Stephen Wiedler in building the needed trust over multiple seasons, starting after his time at Choate Rosemary Hall was finishing during his time in the MHL.

The best example of this is in how they communicated. Wiedler did not know the popular social media app, Whatsapp was the best way to communicate with Alexander, and after some time downloaded it in and learned a new app to communicate with a recruit for a school he is not still at . He now is an assistant at Vermont.

As to why he is joining AIC, Alexander noted a lot of reasons, but they centered around the ascendancy of the program, combined with its strong international background. He noted that alumnae Patrik Demel reached out to him on joining AIC, among others. As Alexander said ” AIC is just full of really good guys.” He also noted similar paths to play in the KHL that alum Janis Jaks took, combined with the feel of the campus. It all fit for him, so he decided to become a Yellow Jacket.

Like his father, Alexander likes to control the pace of the game, and set the tone for his team on the ice. During his time with the Northeast Generals, he has done that, playing a leadership role for the group since he got to the team in a trade deadline deal with Corpus Christi. While he can play the forward position, his home, as the Generals realized, is on the blue line. The assistant captain will not always fill the net with goals, but can score a highlight reel goal when needed, and often provides a good breakout pass to get his team going towards the net. He will have to work to earn a spot in the top six next year, but is more than ready for the challenge. His ascent up the prep ranks, junior ranks, and his journey in life have all prepared him for this next step.

Of Alexander, Generals Head Coach Bryan Erikson said many great things, including

” Alexander is one of the best kids I have ever coached. Just a happy kid that makes those around him excited to play. He is obviously a very talented player but it’s his energy and positivity that is so valuable and why he is such a great leader. On the ice his skating and vision are elite. He sees the ice so well and puts his teammates in a good position at all time’s. He has a great stick and gaps and it allows him to transition up the ice so quickly. Really proud of the kid he is and the player he is turning into. I think Coach Lang has a great one coming his way in the fall!”

Erikson went on to discuss his off ice background

” [Alexander is] just an amazing kid that I will forever have in my life. He is just a wonderful person that I care so much about. His life hasn’t been the easiest and he’s still the happiest kid in the room. And it isn’t an act. He lets me scream at him at time’s always knowing I have his back. It’s the best thing a coach can have, the trust of a player to coach them and know you are looking out for them as a player and a person.”

Alexander said this of the Generals, and Erikson

” I absolutely love Bryan Eriskon.. cannot thank him enough for everything he’s done for me as a player and as a person.. he is definitely someone I am proud to play for. I owe a lot to Brian.. and definitely want to maintain a great relationship.”

For the rest of the year, the goal of Alexander and Erikson is the same, to get the Generals on the right track to head to the NAHL playoffs. When the year is over, the two will stay in touch and Tertyshny will prepare for the next step in his life of joining the Yellow Jackets. In a year, he will be joined by his goaltender, Hugo Haas. The two are best friends and often spend time together outside of the rink. While on the ice, their battles are often a split decision. Off the ice, all in good fun, the story is the same. Tertyshny thinks he is better in NHL and FIFA games, while Haas has the edge in Rocket League (this part about video games was Alexander’s recollection).

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