Alexander Tertyshny never got the chance to know his father. Dimitri Tertyshny was tragically killed in a boating accident the summer after his rookie season with the Philadelphia Flyers. His wife, Polina, was four months pregnant with Alexander at the time. While we never got to truly see what Dimitri could do at the NHL level, his commitment and determination was evident from the very beginning.
That determination paid off when he made the Flyers’ roster in 1998. He showed promise as a puck-moving defensemen, while adding two goals and 10 points. He also made his Stanley Cup debut during the opening game of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. He had one shot in just under 13 minutes of time on ice.
That summer, he and Flyers prospects’ Mikhail Chernov and Francis Belanger took a break from a power-skating camp in Kelowna and rented a boat. Unfortunately, a steep wave would knock Dmitri overboard. His teammates could only watch in horror as his neck and jugular vein were slashed by the boat’s propeller. To honor Dmitri, the Flyers and their AHL team held a benefit game to raise money for Alexander’s future education.
And now, Alexander is wearing the same logo his father once wore.
"“It’s really special. It means a lot to me, it means a lot to my family and my mom. It’s definitely a week I’ll cherish and a week I’m looking to get a lot out of.” Tertyshny said after the first day camp."
Listening to Alexander speak, one can easily see how much he is determined to continue improving his game. He played in the MHL in Russia for a little over one season before coming back to North America to start his junior career. He played with both the Corpus Christi IceRays and Northeast Generals in the NAHL.
After having a good season with the Generals, he was off to the American International College in Massachusetts for the 2020-21 season. He only ended up appearing in one game for the team as he sprained his ankle during a scrimmage with some professional alumni at the beginning of the year. He elected to take a transfer year and went back home to help take care of his mother and younger siblings after she became sick.
"“I was at AIC the start of the year and I felt good, worked a lot on my body that summer and got stronger. Felt great in preseason and going into it. However, my mom got sick, my dad is no longer around and I have two younger siblings so it was very hard for her. Elected to come back home, use the year as a transfer year and be there for my mom and my family as I felt it was just bigger than hockey.” Tertyshny said in an interview with CollegeHockeyPlayers in May."
A tough decision for a player who had only played one collegiate game to that point. After taking the year off, he is headed to Stonehill College to continue his collegiate career. Before that, he is going to soak up every moment he can during the next few days. It was actually an opportunity that Alexander himself took the initiative to make happen.
He reached out to Brent Flahr back in 2021, a time where it was hard to get college players to come to camps due to the ongoing pandemic. Things wouldn’t end up working out at that time, so he let things go. Fast forward to this summer, and the opportunity came around again.
"“I ended up getting in touch with him like a month ago or so, got back to me, sent me his number. From then on they were like ‘How would you feel about coming to dev camp?’ It was pretty surreal. Especially the past year, it’s been tough for my mother and I. I think she was a lot happier than I was. It was cool.”"
Alexander has been able to keep in touch with his father, in a way, by watching old cassettes of his games. He has also spoken with John LeClair, one of the players who assisted on his father’s first NHL goal. He had plenty of questions to ask him throughout the first day.
It’s a surreal and emotional time that Alexander is going to cherish moving forward. No one has been a bigger supporter than his mother. Despite the fact that she’s going through some health issues now, she is expected to attend the Flyers’ camp at some point to see her son play.
"“She did everything she could to support me and to make sure I could follow my dreams and try and follow in my father’s footsteps. I owe a lot to her.”"
The plan for Alexander is to be a sponge during these next few days of camp. He’s spoken to Samuel Morin at length, as well as Patrick Sharp and LeClair. Having everyone around and being able to watch him is going to be important for him moving forward. He will take everything that he learns from them and continue to improve as he takes the next step in his journey.
But if there’s one thing that matters most, it’s about making his late father proud of him for what he’s doing.
"”The most important thing for me, looking up to my dad, his character was very strong. That’s what got him through a lot of his career. Even during training camp, I’m pretty sure when he arrived he was pretty much ticketed for the Phantoms. My mom was there for him and supported him. He was pretty set on his goal of playing for the Flyers. If anything, I want to tackle adversity the way he did. I just want to be a person that he can be proud of.”"