Today's profile is on Evgeny Svechnikov, a left wing with the QMJHL's Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.
Evgeny Svechnikov, Left Wing, 6-foot-2, 199 Pounds, Shoots Left
|2013-2014||Bars Kazan (MHL)||29||14||13||27||+11||68|
|2013-2014||Ak Bars Kazan (KHL)||3||0||0||0||-1||0|
|2014-2015||Cape Breton Screaming Eagles||55||32||46||78||+19||70|
|2013-2014||Bars Kazan (MHL)||6||4||1||5||+7||14|
|2014-2015||Cape Breton Screaming Eagles||7||1||6||7||-4||14|
So much for "The Russian Factor."
After years of passing over Russian-born players it seems like NHL teams are finally ready again to start dipping back into the resources provided by The Motherland.
Evgeny Svechnikov is one such resource.
Few prospects have seen their draft stock skyrocket as much as Svechnikov's did this year. After spending the majority of last season in Russia's junior league Svechnikov crossed the Atlantic and joined the QMJHL's Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, significantly enhancing his exposure to most scouts.
There's certainly a lot to like about what Svechnikov brings to the table. Few players are able to successfully combine size, skating, puck control and offensive instincts, but the rangy Russian did exactly stat this season, posting a solid 78 points in 55 games. He isn't afraid to play in traffic and fight for space, and has a killer release when the puck finds it's way to him in a scoring area. Is already a puck possession monster but this can still be further refined once he reaches the pro levels.
The biggest knock on him right now, however, is his defensive game, which needs major work. Reports say that his effort to come back and help out is getting better, but he still has a long way to go when it comes to knowing the right places to be once he gets there. Svechnikov is also a late 1996 birthday, which still needs to be taken into consideration as he has an extra year of development to his advantage.
Would the Stars be interested? Svechnikov has been generally ranked in the 15-20 range by most sources, so he'd certainly be an interesting gamble if he were taken 12th. The Stars also have a glut of left wingers in the system, so the argument could be made that their attention should be focused elsewhere. That being said, Svechnikov's blend of size, skill and mobility makes him an interesting prospect that could go a lot higher than most places predict. He's still incredibly raw, but the foundation to build around is incredibly appealing.
A powerful and skilled forward…has great strength and balance on his skates…decent speed and agility, but not a real burner…has the creativity and hands to skate the puck through defenders and then power his way to the net…has a heavy shot that when it hits its mark, is pro caliber…uses his strength and long reach to protect the puck well…not much of a defensive game at this point…goes through long stretches where he is ineffective or downright invisible…can be physical, but also undisciplined…has great upside, but some bust potential as well.
Evgeny Svechnikov has all the offensive skill to be a top line NHL forward if he meets his potential. There are some questions about his defensive game though, and he has a number of things he can learn from another year in junior and maybe a short AHL stint to follow that. Svechnikov’s style is reminiscent of Ilya Kovalchuk, but this is a stylistic comparison only and not a talent comparison with the former Thrashers/Devils star.