With the 19th pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, the Nashville Predators have selected Fyodor Svechkov from HC Lada Togliatti of the VHL
About Fyodor Svechkov
Fyodor Svechkov, considered the best Russian forward in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, is often praised for the defensive side of his game. While not known for his offensive dominance, the two-way forward is a consistent playmaker with great on-ice vision and awareness. The strength of his game lies in his defensive zone responsibilities, making Svechkov a great candidate as a potential shutdown forward.
THW Prospect Profile Excerpt
“Russian forward Fyodor Svechkov is considered his team’s hometown hero. The 18-year-old was born and raised in Togliatti, a city 985 km East of Moscow, and he has spent his entire playing career with HC Lada Togliatti. He joined the organization in 2016 to play in the team’s Russia U16 League, and he was promoted to the U18 team in the 2018-19 season. He scored 43 points (16 goals, 27 assists) in 26 games to help the U18 team reach the playoffs. He tallied nine points (three goals, six assists) in eight postseason games.
“Svechkov served as an alternate captain for Team Russia at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Canada. His strong leadership helped earn him the chance to play for Lada Togliatti’s first team in the 2020-21 season. He has adapted quickly to playing in the VHL with 15 points (five goals, ten assists) in 38 games.
“Svechkov is a two-way forward who is known for his offensive and defensive abilities, and he can play defense. His on-ice vision and tight-knit style of play enhance the defensive side of his game; he can read an opponent’s body language and can confidently predict where the puck is going. He has a methodical approach to defending, either positioning himself deeper in the ice or clearing the puck before it is fired. Svechkov’s puck awareness, combined with his vision and ability to monitor the puck, make him a strong asset in the defensive zone.
“Effective defense has made up for Svechkov’s low offensive productivity, and he is not known for being a fast-paced forward. However, he has proven to be a consistent scorer. Most of his passes are deliberately aimed at the centre of the ice to create scoring chances, and he has completed 78.6% of his pass attempts this season, which suggests that he has something to offer offensively and that he is not solely focused on maintaining puck possession. His offensive contribution is overlooked because of his strong defensive skills, but he still can be a reliable player on the wing or at centre.”
How This Affects the Predators’ Plans
Svechkov will provide the Predators with a middle-six forward whose defensive capabilities will be utilized in a shutdown capacity, while also providing a playmaking ability that has been missing in Nashville.
Born and raised in Michigan, Kyle Knopp started playing hockey when he was 3 years old. Knopp has played, coached, or worked at every level of ice hockey — including three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League and two seasons with the Detroit Red Wings where he was part of the Stanley Cup Championship team in 2008. He covers the Washington Capitals and Detroit Red Wings for The Hockey Writers and is the editor of THW’s Morning Skate newsletter. You can follow him on Twitter @THW_Knopp.