Position: Left winger
Junior team: Cape Breton (QMJHL)
Born: Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Russia
Measurables: 6-foot-2, 199 pounds
2014-15 stats: 55 games, 32 goals, 46 assists, 78 points
Central Scouting rank: No. 17 (North America)
Lowdown: Svechnikov’s father worked in a hockey store in Russia, so it was a given what sport the son was going to play. He’d hit the rink with sharp skates, but it was his stick that did most of the damage. The winger has an NHL-caliber shot that is hard and accurate.
Svechnikov played in Russia in 2013-14, even getting called up to the Kontinental Hockey League for three games in the midst of a point-per-game junior season. But he felt his best shot at the NHL was playing in North America. He finished second among Quebec league rookies in points, boosted by consecutive four-point games in January.
Despite his size, he’s shifty and elusive. He’s a regular on Russia’s national teams, giving him a wealth of international experience. He’s one-dimensional, however, and has been known to ignore his defensive responsibilities in favor of looking for offense. He needs to move more without the puck.
They said it: “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.” – Troy Dumville, NHL Central Scouting.
The Buffalo News is profiling 30 prospects in 30 days leading up to the NHL Draft, which will be held June 26-27.