The Detroit Red Wings selected Evgeni Svechnikov back in the first round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, but five years later and he is still trying to be a mainstay.
Back in 2015, the Detroit Red Wings thought they had stumbled upon another perennial talent in the National Hockey League (NHL). After spending a first-round draft pick on Evgeni Svechnikov, things would go downhill for the young prospect.
His brother Andrei Svechnikov would be a solid addition to the Carolina Hurricanes, and remains a mainstay in the Hurricanes offense, while Evgeni is absent from the Red Wings roster. A knee injury has continued to prove lethal to Svechnikov’s attempts at a breakthrough on the NHL roster.
He underwent a knee surgery in 2018 that held him out of the 2018-19 season completely. He would end up dealing with knee pain again in 2019-20 season keeping him to 51 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins in the lost season to COVID-19.
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In his 51 games, Svechnikov would score 11 goals and tally 14 assists for 25 points on the season.
He also played in four games with the NHL roster where he would not register a single point.
He has not been great, it has taken five years for Svechnikov to establish his role in the NHL, but if he remains healthy he may be able to do so during the 2020-21 season.
Before the knee injury, Svechnikov was underperforming in his AHL season as well as his limited showing in the NHL. The knee injury may have been lingering before he went in for surgery, but the performance was still underwhelming for a first overall selection.
In 2017-18, Svechnikov would play in 57 games with seven goals and 16 assists for 23 total points. In fourteen games on the NHL roster, he would tally two goals and two assists for four total points which were just as underwhelming.
The 6-foot-3, 208-pound winger thinks he has the ability to make the Red Wings roster this upcoming season. Hopefully, this is true, if not he could be set free on waivers and claimed by another organization.
With the amount of restricted free agents that the Red Wings have to deal with this offseason, keeping Svechnikov safe from waivers may not be a priority for General Manager (GM) Steve Yzerman.
Basically, it seems more than likely that Svechnikov’s days will be numbered in the winged wheel unless he boats a breakout season. With the track record he possesses, Svechnikov may end up on waivers and donning another jersey during the 2020-21 season.
The hope would be that Svechnikov can get it together, prove he belongs, and become a part of this Red Wings offense. But reality and his past are working against him in those regards, and his time seems to be running out after five years of nothing.
The bottom line is, Evgeni Svechnikov carried a lot of immediate upside with the Detroit Red Wings, but five years later the organization is still waiting and his time might just be up.