In most years, Barrie Colts forward Andrei Svechnikov would be a de facto first overall pick. This isn’t most years, and the player ahead of him is a generational calibre defensive prospect, Rasmus Dahlin.
There isn’t a single tool absent from Svechnikov’s offensive toolkit. He can score in multiple ways and threatens to regularly from shift-to-shift. Simply put, Svechnikov has the talent to alter the course of a franchise for years to come.
And to think, he’s going to a Carolina Hurricanes franchise that’s been on the cusp of breaking through for years. This might be the final push they need to break on through to the post-season. With that, Svechnikov checks in at second overall on the CanucksArmy consensus list.
- Age/Birthdate: 17.47 / March 26, 2000
- Birthplace: Barnaul, RUS
- Frame: 6-foot-3 / 187 lbs
- Position: Right Wing
- Handedness: Left
- Draft Year Team: Barrie Colts (OHL)
|GP||G||A||P||SEAL||INV%||5v5 Pr INV%||5v5 eP160||Sh/Gp||Sh%||GF%||GF%rel||GD60rel||XLS%||XPR||xVAL|
Adjusted Scoring (SEAL)
It’s hard not to get carried away talking about Svechnikov. His statistical bona fides are of a calibre we haven’t seen from a first-time draft eligible OHL forward this side of Connor McDavid. By season’s end, Svechnikov had amassed a whopping 72 points (40 goals and 32 assists) in 44 games, good for almost a goal a game, in his rookie season in the OHL.
Some of his closest comparable players by the pGPS (prospect Graduation Probabilities System) are Bobby Ryan, Steven Stamkos and Tyler Seguin — good company to keep, across the board.
I don’t claim this often, but Svechnikov excels in every relevant department for a dominant offensive forward. His shot? It’s great. The release is deceptive, and it’s a hard, heavy shot that he often fires from all over the ice. His vision? Exceptional. He can find holes in the opposition defence and exploit them at his will. His skating? Couldn’t ask for anything better. Svechnikov has excellent speed, balance and edges, and when he uses them to drive the net, there isn’t any stopping him.
One of my favourite qualities to Svechnikov’s game is the way he’s able to score from any position (he played a fair amount of the season down the middle) and from any spot in the offensive zone. I’ve seen a lot of comparisons to Patrik Laine as a scorer, and while I don’t necessarily agree with that, it’s worth noting that he can let loose that cannon of a shot from anywhere on the ice with great effect. What makes him different from Laine, though, is his ability to attack the middle of the ice and create offence from in close.
Another, perhaps underrated quality to Svechnikov’s game is his penchant for seeing plays through. Many players at this age give up on a play the second their shot leaves their stick. If Svechnikov doesn’t score, he’s the first man to the loose puck and often comes out with it on his stick, ready to find another scoring chance.
When we use the SEAL (Situation Era Age League) adjustments developed by CanucksArmy’s Jeremy Davis, we can see just how prolific Svechnikov’s production was in its proper context. Those adjustments bump his points per game rate up to 1.79, which is the second-best rate among first-time draft eligible players in this year’s class — behind, of course, Dahlin.
Svechnikov has all the makings of a player that can step right into an NHL lineup as soon as next season. The intuition for most will be to share concern over his ability to defend, but I can assure you those concerns would be greatly overstated. The Colts used him on the penalty kill, and it worked relatively well to my eye.
This is a player that has the makings of a perennial NHL All-Star and a household name. He’s done nothing but dominate the North American junior circuit since coming over from Russia last season. There’s no reason to expect him to not succeed almost instantly as he takes that next step.
|Consolidated||Average||Future Considerations||Hockey Prospect.com||ISS Hockey||McKeen’s||The Athletic||TSN Bob McKenzie||TSN Craig Button||The Hockey News||Sportsnet||ESPN||Dobber Prospects|
By the World Junior Tournament in Buffalo, Svechnikov had yielded the race for first overall to Rasmus Dahlin by the overwhelming majority of scouts and draft pundits. This is not a knock on Svechnikov, rather than a tip of the hat to Dahlin. This seeding was further entrenched during the tournament as Svechnikov was used in a limited role with Russia playing third line minutes. Despite the limited role, Svechnikov acquitted himself well posting five points, all assists.
Founded in 1950, Sports Excellence Corporation represents over 150 family-owned independent hockey retailers across Canada and the United States. Our highly knowledgeable hockey specialists are available to assist all your equipment needs. Find your closest Sports Excellence retailer here!
CanucksArmy’s 2018 NHL Draft Rankings