After a strong rookie season in the QMJHL, Russian winger Evgeny Svechnikov was been drafted with the 19th overall pick by the Detroit Red Wings in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. In this translated interview, originally appearing on the Russian website r-sport.ru, Red Wings prospect Evgeny Svechnikov talks about his emotions at the draft and his plans to join the Red Wings as soon as possible.
* For the original r-sport interview by Roman Soloviev, click here.
– [The draft] was an incredible feeling, the best moment in my life and perhaps the best day of my life. I have to thank the team for the trust and my family, agent, friends for the support. I felt like I was born again. I think that you can imagine my feelings yourself. A lifetime dream came true, now I have to go a further step and get a spot in the lineup.
– Did you expect to get drafted by the Red Wings?
– I thought that they might [draft me]. I talked with them at the Draft Combine, it was an unreal meeting. They asked me: “We’re going to draft 19th overall: what do you think about it?” I replied that such a pick would be a dream come true. And here we go. The team has a great history and they love Russians, it should be enough to remember the Russian Five and what Russian player currently plays there: Pavel Datsyuk. I hope that he’ll show me some wizard tricks. Getting a spot on the team would be incredible. I know that all is real, but I still can’t believe it now.
– Was it hard to move to North America from Ak Bars Kazan?
– It was a very important decision, I actually wanted to move a year earlier. It has been hard, a new environment, a new language. I have to thank the Cape Breton team as they helped me a lot in adaptation and did everything for me. I have to thank every single member of the team, especially our head coach Marc-André Dumont, who even travelled to Florida with me for the draft. It has been a very important year, a year that brought me to the NHL.
– Your long-time team-mate Maxim Lazarev wasn’t drafted this year. Is he back to Canada?
– He’s at our home town Kazan now. I hope that someone will draft Max later or at least call him to the summer camps. Everyone wants to get here [to the NHL], I can imagine his emotions. We’ve played together for many years, I would like him to be drafted too.
– Do you think the Wings should draft him?
– Well, it’s his favorite team!
– On social media Alexander Burmistrov said that he wished that Winnipeg drafted you.
– I’ve known Alex for a long time, we are friends, he said that it would have been great if we could play together. I flew to him, they showed me everything, and explained many things. I was thinking that they were going to select me, but this is how the draft works. Right now the best team for me is Detroit.
– Your little brother Andrei, one of the top forwards in Russia amongst 2000-born players, went to the draft with you.
– He was there as he will most likely get drafted in a few years. He will do the same steps as me and I envy him as he has an older brother. He was as nervous as my parents during the draft, they followed through the procedure and really wanted to see what team would pick me. Now they are happy that I’m here with this red jersey. In a few years it will be my brother’s time and I’ll be with him. He already knows everything, the procedure, and he won’t be as nervous as I was.
– Your task for next season is to get a spot in the Red Wings lineup?
– Every player wants to get a spot on the team right away. This is a hard task for everyone, but I know how hard it can be. I’ll do my best to get to this result, but we’ll see what happens. Now I can’t wait for the rookie camp to start and all that will follow.
– Will you stay in North America next season?
– Of course I will play in North America, most likely in Cape Breton, but maybe even in Detroit.