Next Generation Russian Rocket, Soviet Sniper Evgeny Svechnikov

by Eldon MacDonald (edited by @ChrisRalphTHW)

NHL Draft War Room: Evgeny Svechnikov

Ranked #14 – April 2015 War Room Rankings

Evgeny Svechnikov
Evgeny Svechnikov: The Soviet Sniper – probable 2015 NHL Draft first rounder (Credit: Mike Sullivan)

Could He Be the Guy Who Rockets Your Team Up the NHL Standings?

  • Hashtag: #SovietSniper
  • Team: #37, Cape Breton, QMJHL
  • Position: Left Wing
  • Shoots: Left
  • Height: 6’3
  • Weight: 205 lb.
  • Born: Neftegorsk, Russia, 31-Oct-96
  • Twitter: @ESvechnikov




Other Rankings

  • 16 – FC – Top 30, Apr-15
  • 16 – ISS – Top 30, Apr-15
  • 17 – SN – Damien Cox, Top 30, Mar-15
  • 17 – TSN – Craig Button, Top 100, Mar-15
  • 18 – HP – Top 60, Feb-15
  • 18 – THN – Ryan Kennedy, Top 30, Jan-15
  • 21 – TSN – Bob McKenzie’s Poll of NHL Scouts, Top 60 – Mid, Jan-15
  • 22 – THW – Christopher Ralph, Top 30, Mid, Feb-15
  • 23 – McKeens, Top 30, Mar-15
  • 23 – NHL Combined, Top 305, Mid, Jan-15 

THW’s Draft War Room: The Soviet Sniper

Eldon MacDonald, THW:  A few words on Evgeny Svechnikov:

The Next Generation Russian Rocket: Do you like a player who likes to shoot through defenses like a rocket? If your answer is yes, you will love Evgeny Svechnikov. While there can  ever only be one true hockey Russian Rocket (Pavel Bure), Svechnikov is a Soviet Sniper with tremendous upside.

Five Reasons Why Evgeny Svechnikov Should Be Selected in the Top 15 of the 2015 NHL Draft

  • Explosiveness: The vibe – TNT. Next generation Russian rocket. The Soviet Sniper.
  • Size: The vibe – Massive – Huge, solid, powerful, NHL ready. 6’3, 205 – likely to play in the NHL at 215-220.
  • Power: The vibe – Exhilaration – spectacular net drive.
  • High energy: The vibe – Excitement – always trying to make something happen.
  • Skills: The vibe – Adaptability – can beat you with power or skills.


  • Skating – Strong, good balance and agility, decent speed.
  • Passing – Top notch physical passing ability. Needs to mentally use this option more often rather than try to do it all himself.
  • Stickhandling – High-end, elite in tight quarters.
  • ShootingWyatt Earp release, heavy shot with deadly accuracy – The Soviet Sniper.
  • Vision and creativity – Add the mental ability to see what play can be made with the physical skills to make them and you have yourselves a hockey player.

Defense – The compete is there. The mental part, however, sometimes is missing – bad reads, bad positioning, not taking his man. As long as there is compete and a willingness to improve, defense can be learned.

Awards and Achievements

  • 2014-15: QMJHL – Cape Breton – Co-Rookie of the Year with Pierre-Luc Dubois

Improvements to make: Evgeny likes to do it all himself – go end to end and swish through or go around the defense and stuff it in like a spectacular slam dunk. When it works, it is a thing of beauty – example here. However, too often he runs out of real estate and loses the puck or puts himself in a position to make a low percentage pass. Evgeny needs to make better use of his teammates to bring out the best in his game. When he does that, he will be a top 10 player in this draft class. As mentioned, his defense also needs to be brought up to speed. He has shown a decent compete level on defense so I think that any deficiencies will eventually work themselves out.

NHL Projection: A spectacular player like Evgeny Svechnikov definitely has the makings of a top six player in the NHL. If he makes the improvements needed to make himself more a team player, first line is more than likely.

Draft placement: Most rankings have Evgeny in the 16 to 23 range. I have him a little ahead of that at 14 as I don’t put much stock in the Russian Factor and I like big guys who can skate and score as they can be such big-time difference makers.

Those in the Know

  • Quote 1: The Hockey News – Ryan Kennedy, “Speaking of tears, Svechnikov had 22 points in the last 10 games of the regular season for Cape Breton. The big Russian import plays a Rick Nash style of power game, coupled with a great release and stickhandling prowess.”
  • Quote 2: The Chronicle Herald – Willy Palov, “The Russian rookie has tons of ability and is a physical specimen at six-foot-three and 205 pounds. After starting the year as a top-10 candidate, he has settled into the 10-20 range, but could easily climb back into the upper echelon with a big playoff.”
  • Quote 3: Elite – Curtis Joe, “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.”
  • Quote 4: com – Mike G. Morreale, Staff Writer, “A power forward with decent speed and balance, good offensive hockey sense and creative instincts. At 6-2 and 199 pounds, Svechnikov considers his game similar to that of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin. In his first North American season he was third on Cape Breton with 32 goals and 78 points.”
  • Quote 5: McKeen’s – Brendan Ross, “Next to his draft peers, Svechnikov appears to be competing in a man-like frame – possessing both advantageous strength and power. He’s produced impressive QMJHL rookie numbers and it’s not a surprise given his silky smooth puck skills. Svechnikov’s puck handling is particularly impressive in tight quarters where he dangles through legs and sticks with ease. His best quality is adaptability, knowing when to use his power game versus his skilled game. This two-way attacking ability only makes Svechnikov a more attractive prospect.”




  • Video 1: Hockey Pwns – Shift by shift versus Charlottetown – 13-Feb-15
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