2016-17 Team: Barrie Colts (#14)
Date of Birth: March 26, 2000
Place of Birth: Barnaul, Russia
Ht: 6’3” Wt: 187 lbs.
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2018 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 1st (among NA Skaters)
- Future Considerations: 2nd
- McKeen’s Hockey: 2nd
- Hockeyprospect.com: 2nd
- ISS Hockey: 2nd
- Bob McKenzie: 2nd
- Craig Button: 3rd
- Jeff Marek: 3rd
Say what you will about the overall talent in this year’s NHL Draft, but there are a number of players that stand out for their individual qualities that will garner a lot of interest as the big day approaches. Of those players, there’s one Russian that has put on a masterful show this season with the OHL’s Barrie Colts and that’s Andrei Svechnikov.
While most have him going in the top two picks, this guaranteed top-end prospect has a full bag of talent when it comes to playing the game of hockey. While he did deal with injuries in his first season in the OHL, the 18-year-old winger still managed to tally 40 goals and 72 points in just 44 games for the Colts – adding 11 more points in eight playoff games.
But he’s not strictly an offensive threat. While his defensive game could use some work, he plays with a physical edge that gives him that upper hand on most purely skilled players. He stands at 6-foot-3 and just under 190 pounds with some growing to do and he uses that frame in all aspects of the game.
While discipline can be an issue at times, having racked up 67 penalty minutes in his 44 games this season, he does play the game passionately which can be altered through maturation. The raw talent this kid possess should excite the teams holding down the top three picks as he’s bound to go somewhere atop the draft this year.
Other THW Draft Profiles:
Andrei Svechnikov – NHL Draft Projection
Assuming that most projections are on points, Rasmus Dahlin is the likely number one pick in this year’s draft. That leaves Filip Zadina, Brady Tkachuk and Svechnikov as the likely two through four selections with Boqvist and Bouchard as distant possibilities to sneak in there. As the number one ranked prospect in North America by NHL Central Scouting, one can only assume that Svechnikov will slot in as the second overall pick for the Carolina Hurricanes. That said, I’m sure the Montreal Canadiens are hoping he drops to that third overall spot for them.
“Two underrated aspects of Svechnikov’s game are his playmaking ability and strength on or off the puck. He creates a conundrum for opposing defenders and goalies because he can beat you with a pass as often as he does with his deadly shot. His vision and hands already are at an elite level. Additionally, his upper-body strength is often underestimated, and opponents losing puck battles via a shove become commonplace when Svechnikov is involved in a tight-checking affair. You can use Svechnikov in any situation, and he is a threat to score while shorthanded.” – Steve Kournianos/The Draft Analyst
“Svechnikov checks all the scouts’ boxes; he has size and strength already as a 17-year-old and is physically ready to play against men. Skating is above average, he has good acceleration, a powerful stride, and strong balance. He is a very smart player that can find gaps in coverage despite the extra attention he commands, he takes advantage of teammates and makes them better by exploiting his skill and vision. Perhaps his most significant skill set is his shot; he possesses a quick release that combines power, speed and accuracy. Svechnikov has a wide array of weaponry with deadly wrist, snap, and slap shot and one-timer options. His puck control skills allow him to carry the puck at speed, and beat defenders one-on-one or deke the goalie to score.” – Peter Harling/Dobber Prospects
“In NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings, Svechnikov came in as the top North American player because of his ability to do special things on offense, whether it’s scoring, stickhandling, protecting the puck, etc. To go along with that, he’s on of the smoothest and fastest skaters in this draft, making him incredibly difficult to defend. His defensive game is a work in progress, but his ability to score in multiple ways and create space for teammates makes him perhaps the top forward in this draft.” – Charlie Roumeliotis/NBC Sports Chicago
- Hockey sense
- Shot and playmaking
- Creates space
- Skating and mobility
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Defensive zone play
If he can come even close to what he showed in junior at the NHL level, Svechnikov will be a top-six forward in no time. Expect him to crack an NHL lineup out of the gate next season and while he might not stick past the 10-game mark, it surely won’t be long before he’s back in the NHL for a full-time stint.
Risk – 1.5/5, Reward – 4.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offence – 9/10 Defence – 7/10
There’s almost too many achievements to list, but among those, he won bronze medals in both the U17 World Hockey Championship and U18 World Junior Championship in 2016-17 before going on to being named to the USHL All-Rookie Team, the USHL First All-Star Team and taking home the USHL Rookie of the Year as a member of the Muskegon Lumberjacks. Most notably this season, he took home OHL honours as the league’s Rookie of the Year thanks to his impressive 72 points in 44 games.
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.