DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today assigned right wing Evgeny Svechnikov to the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins
Svechnikov, 20, played two games with Detroit, recording four shots in 13:08 average time on ice and scoring the only goal in a seven-round shootout to give the Red Wings a 5-4 victory over the Ottawa Senators during his first NHL game on Monday. He has appeared in 68 games with the Griffins this season and ranks among team leaders with 18 goals (4th), 26 assists (T3rd), 44 points (4th), 56 penalty minutes (T3rd), five power-play goals (T6th), five game-winning goals (T2nd) and 165 shots (3rd). The first-year forward leads all Grand Rapids rookies in points and ranks among the top AHL rookies in goals (T10th), points (T6th), game-winning goals (T1st) and shots (2nd). Svechnikov began the season with five points (2-3-5) in his first 20 games, but has racked up 26 points (8-18-26) in his last 30 games, including a team-best 12-game point streak from Jan. 20-Feb. 17. The 6-foot-3, 205-lb., winger also picked up one assist in two AHL playoff games in 2015-16, joining the Griffins following the conclusion of his major-junior career.
Originally drafted by Detroit in the first round (19th overall) of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Russia, native spent two seasons with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (2014-16), notching 157 points (64-93-157), a plus-45 rating and 167 penalty minutes in 105 games and adding 21 points (5-17-21) in 20 postseason games. Svechnikov, a member of the 2015 QMJHL All-Rookie Team, also represented his country at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship, winning a silver medal. Prior to coming to North America, Svechnikov made his professional debut by playing in three games with Ak Bars Kazan in the Kontinental Hockey League in 2013-14. He also picked up eight points (3-5-8) in 12 games at the 2013 and 2014 IIHF World Under-18 Championships and tied for the team lead in points in 2014.
Svechnikov played like a kid who needs more NHLexperience, but also who looks like he "gets it" in his brief stint, but he's also a kid who'll be gearing up with the Griffins for a playoff run and those Griffins have lost four straight game heading into their second night of a back-to-back in Manitoba tonight.
It's possible he'll be up for the last weekend of the season coming up, but flu-like symptoms in Drew Miller weren't going to last forever. The Wings have one remaining regular recall that they could use. With no games in the next two days, this will give them more flexibility on how they might use it and it will give Svechnikov more playing time.