Evgeni Svechnikov has steadily risen on the draft boards thanks to a spectacular rookie year with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. He’s a tantalizing package of size and high end offensive skill with legitimate first line potential.
Continue past the jump to learn about one this drafts best power forward prospects.
- Age: 17.88 years old at start of season. Born October 31, 1996
- Birthplace: Neftegorsk, Russia
- Frame: 6’2, 201 lbs
- Position: LW
- Draft Year Team: Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (QMJHL)
- Accomplishments: 2013 U17 WHC Silver Medal, 2014 U18 WJC Top 3 Player on Team, 2014 World Junior A Challenge Silver Medal, 2015 CHL Top Prospects Game, 2015 QMJHL All-Rookie Team
|GP||ES G||ES A1||ES A2||ES Pts||ES Pts/GP||ES GF%||ES GF% Rel||TmG%||TmPts%||AA Pts/GP||EA Pts/GP||Adj Pts/GP|
- TmG% = Percentage of team goals a player scored in that player’s games played
- TmPts% = Percentage of team goals a player registered points on in that player’s games played
- AA Pts/GP = Age adjusted points per game
- EA Pts/GP = Era and league adjusted points per game
- Adj Pts/GP = Age, era, and league adjusted points per game
|PCS% 2014||PCS Pts/82 2014||PCS% 2015||PCS Pts/82 2015|
|PCS Most NHL GP||PCS Highest Pts/GP|
|Dave Andreychuk||Eric Staal|
|Shane Doan||Dave Andreychuk|
|Brad May||Pat Elynuik|
- PCS = Our Player Cohort Success model. Click here for more information about PCS.
From Guillaume Gervais, Future Considerations:
Skilled forward with excellent vision. In the offensive zone he sees passing lanes before even receiving the puck which makes him unpredictable and dangerous. His shots are quick and without notice. Skating wise he has great agility and is well balanced on his skates, he is not a burner though, could add another gear and refine his skating technique a little bit. He is strong on his skates and hard to move, combine this with his great puck control, it’s hard for his opponents to take off the puck from him.
From Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects:
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.
Evgeny is a multi-faceted winger who is as capable of finishing a play as he is making one. A strong skater who threatens defenders and creates chances with an explosive step but can back them off and use space to make a play. He’s difficult to defend because he can beat you in multiple ways. Closer to NHL than most players.
From Troy Dumville, NHL Central Scouting:
He proved to be a very skilled skater, strong on the puck and a player capable of doing a lot of things well. He plays a physical game, doesn’t back away, is aggressive on the forecheck and finishes checks. He’s a pretty complete player for a first-year player in the league. He was playing the off [right] wing the first half of the year and then moved to center. By the end of the season he was playing a complete 200-foot game.
Early last fall, I was having a conversation with friend of the blog, Bryan Nikkel (@bryan_nikkel), about 2015 draft candidates, and recommended keeping an eye on Svechnikov after watching his standout play for Team Russia at the U17 and U18 level, so Svechnikov has been a guy I had a pretty close eye on throughout the year.
After leaving the MHL (Russia’s junior league) for the QMJHL this season, he burst out the gate with an outstanding September (14 points in his first 7 games), but suffered multiple injuries that slowed him down considerably for the next few month. However, once he was healthy again, he absolutely crushed his last two months of the regular season, scoring 29 points in his last 16 games.
The chart below shows Svechnikov’s points/gm per month, which illustrate the impact injuries had on his year:
Despite the impact of these injuries on his offensive production, Svechnikov managed a PCS of 49% which places him in the top 6 of this draft class. He’s an excellent skater, and extremely tough to knock off the puck given his size. He has an excellent shot and outstanding offensive instincts which you can see in the video above.
An interesting comparable for Svechnikov is Lawson Crouse of the Kingston Frontenacs, who is generally more highly regarded by most scouting agencies. Despite Svechnikov’s injury issues, he outscored Crouse by a significant margin (0.91 P/GM for Crouse versus 1.42 P/GM for Svechnikov). Now, some of that could be chalked up to team effects, as Crouse’s Frontenacs had one of the most anemic offenses in the league last year, while Svechnikov’s Screaming Eagles were a a slightly above average offensive team, but the differences are pretty significant. While Svechnikov has the edge offensively, you could argue that Crouse’s defensive game is more developed at this stage in their careers, but even so its pretty hard to justify the descrepancy in consensus rankings for the two players (Crouse ranked in top 5 by ISS and CSS).
What seems to be holding back Svechnikov in the eyes of some scouts is that he was left off the Russian team for the World Juniors, which shouldn’t be considered too much of a red flag considering Team Russia is pretty consistent in making odd decisions in tournament invitees (I’m looking at you, Nikita Scherbak). Probably what is having a greater impact on his rankings is the “Russian Factor” itself. We can see that most scouts ranked Svechnikov in the middle teens, with the exception of ESPN’s Corey Pronman, and my sense is that Russian Factor is playing a bit of a role in that, despite Svechnikov’s efforts to demonstrate his commitment to playing in North America by joining Cape Breton.
His combination of size and elite offensive skills should have teams drooling, so I’ll be surprised if he does slide into the mid-teens. Especially since 29 teams are still licking their wounds for passing on Nikita Kucherov in 2011.