SUNRISE, FLA -- The Red Wings have selected Evgeny Svechnikov at 19th overall.
Incredibly skilled offensive winger. Has a remarkably accurate shot to go along with some magic hands. Could be better defensively, but his game is based around his acute sense of what is happening on the ice in the offensive zone. All-in-all, a deadly player who possesses good size, elite-level skill, and smooth skating.
One of his greatest strengths, his stickhandling, compliments an effortlessly quick release. For a big man, he's got a deceptively smooth stride, moving faster than he appears to be.
Once more, he's also as gifted a passer as he is a scorer and can finish in tight or in the high slot.
Prone to taking the odd bad penalty and banging his stick on the ice for a pass (Leafs fans are used to watching Nazem Kadri call for passes), Svechnikov can get caught up in the heat of the moment, likely because he knows he's bigger and stronger than most QMJHL players.
Could still learn to hang onto the puck more and delve away from the give-and-go, on-and-off style he can fall into playing. He's so gifted with the puck that that shouldn't be hard to teach.
He is credited with being a 'new style' power forward by Future Considerations. Rather than using brute force, the skater overwhelms the opposition with speed while using their body to protect the puck and take advantage of their reach to complete plays. He projects largely as an offence-first skater at the moment, but given his age there is plenty of time to develop the rest of his game. He should not be ranked as being completely uncommitted to defending though.
Svechnikov is all offense, all the time. He's a perfect blend of size and skill, and though calling him a power forward is a stretch, he isn't afraid to battle for pucks. He's got a pro shot, and uses it with deadly accuracy.
The easy player to compare him to is Nikita Kucherov of the Lightning, who is continuing to light it up for Tampa as part of the "Triplets" line. Svechnikov will be a terrific addition to an NHL team's top six.
This story is developing, more will be available shortly.