Carolina Hurricanes 2021-22 Report Cards: Andrei Svechnikov

Andrei Svechnikov was a key piece of the Carolina Hurricanes‘ scoring attack throughout the 2021-22 campaign. He entered the season facing high expectations after signing an eight-year, $62 million extension with Carolina last August. The 22-year-old forward delivered an all-around career-best season that helped the Hurricanes win a franchise-best 54 games and clinch the Metropolitan Division crown. The Hurricanes defeated the Boston Bruins in seven games in the first round of the NHL Playoffs, but saw their impressive season come to a close in the second round, losing to the New York Rangers in seven games.

Career Best Campaign in 2021-2022

Svechnikov had his best season in his young career in 2021-22, with a career-high in goals (30), assists (39), and points (69) in 78 regular-season games played. He took another major step forward this season in his fourth season with the Hurricanes, giving them a very effective scoring option to go alongside Sebastian Aho. The two forwards have become a very successful duo leading the Hurricanes’ scoring attack. Aho and Svechnikov were the first two Hurricanes’ players to each score 30 goals in the same season since the 2010-11 season when Eric Staal and Jeff Skinner accomplished the same feat.

Svechnikov puts a lot of pressure on opposing defenses with his quick and physical style of play that allows him to get a lot of quality shots off. He led the Hurricanes with an average of 18.01 shot attempts per 60 minutes (the next closest was 14.47).

Areas of Improvement

The most promising sign for the Hurricanes regarding Svechnikov’s future is that he still has a lot more room for improvement as he continues to grow as a player. One specific area where he can improve is becoming a more disciplined defender, as he led Hurricanes forwards in penalty minutes this past season with 79. While his physical play is one of the reasons he has had success throughout his career, if he can be more disciplined on the defensive side of things, he will take another huge step forward in Carolina.

Andrei Svechnikov, Carolina Hurricanes
Andrei Svechnikov, Carolina Hurricanes (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Another area Svechnikov can improve in is shot accuracy. He finished the 2021-22 campaign with a shooting percentage of 12 — his season-best came in the 2019-20 season (13.1). He wasn’t as accurate as the deeper analytics suggest he should have been this past season, finishing with 65.98 percent of his unblocked shots being on goal despite an expected percentage of unblocked shot attempts on goal of 74.4. If he can get his shooting percentage closer to 15 moving forward and also get more of his unblocked shots heading towards the net, he will improve on his already impressive offensive game.

Svechnikov Struggled in Playoffs

One major area of improvement Svechnikov can make to take another step in his career will be to step up in the postseason. He was quiet for a large portion of the Hurricanes’ postseason run, finishing with five points in 14 games played. Carolina will look to clinch a playoff berth for the fifth straight season in 2022-23, and if they hope to make a deeper run, they will need improved postseason play from the likes of Svechnikov and Aho, among others.

Future is Bright

Svechnikov has the potential to be an All-Star quality player for the Hurricanes for years to come. General manager Don Waddell was smart to lock up the impressive young winger last offseason, with his contract extension keeping him in Raleigh through the 2028-29 season. If he can improve by limiting the penalty minutes and getting more of his shots on goal, the sky’s the limit for him. Do not be surprised if he challenges Aho for the team lead in goals scored next season. Can Svechnikov and the Hurricanes contend for the Stanley Cup next season?

Final Grade: B+

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