Evgeny Svechnikov, Red Wings fans have known about him for years, and probably most have wanted to see him up full-time for years too. We finally got a small sample size of Svech last year (granted only 14 games and an average of 8:49 TOI). He generated 2 goals and 2 assists in his short tenure with the Red Wings, but when Luke Witkowski is getting more ice time than you, it’s tough to make a serious impact. Still, it seems like Svech may have regressed a tad, or simply has not lived up to the hype yet. However, with the youth movement looking like it is fully upon us, this could possibly be the 21-year-old Russians breakout year.
Position: Right Wing
Born: October 31, 1996
Birthplace: Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Russia
Drafted: 2015, 1st Round (19th overall)
Current Team: Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL)/Detroit Red Wings (NHL)
2017-2018 (Combined): 71 GP, 9 G, 18 A, -6
Like I said, most Wings fans know all about Svech at this point, so I won’t go into drastic detail about who he is. He’s a big-bodied winger with major goal-scoring potential, which is something the Red Wings desperately need. He’s sort of a hybrid between Mantha and Zadina, so having those three on the team down the line should be a major help for the Red Wings offense. Really the only discussion with Svech now is when will he be back up, and when will it be for good?
It’s both good and bad that Geno likely won’t make the Opening Day roster. Good, because that means there are other talented prospects ready to fill the lineup already. Bad, because his game has seemed to regressed since battling injuries a year ago. He posted 51 points in 74 games in his first season of pro hockey with Grand Rapids, but last year he fell off significantly (stats above). Now I’m certainly not writing the kid off, he’s still only 21. However, he does need more time and I see him taking a similar route Mantha did coming off injury in 2016-17. The hope is too when we do finally see Svech again, we see him for the long run, producing and playing like that top prospect he’s seemingly always been labeled as.
As a rookie in the AHL, Svechnikov showed flashes of playmaking fare. While I think he had an extremely underwhelming sophomore year, he still has plenty of upside. I see him as a complimentary scoring winger.
Do you think Evgeny Svechnikov deserves a top-10 spot?
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