Detroit Red Wings: 3 forwards ready to breakout in 2021

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Red Wings
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

Evgeny Svechnikov

The Detroit Red Wings used the 19th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Level Draft on forward Evgeny Svechnikov.  It was a very intriguing pick when you consider the success the Russian born winger enjoyed at the junior level.

Svechnikov played in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League as a member of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.  Throughout his two junior seasons, the winger recorded back-to-back 32 goal seasons, notching 78 and 79 point seasons in succession.

It appeared the Red Wings were drafting a top-nine forward with 25-plus goal potential at the NHL level, along with a player that’s proven to be a consistent scorer.

During his time in the Red Wings organization, it’s been the exact opposite.  In his first year with the Grand Rapids Griffins, Svechnikov excelled, scoring 20 goals, adding 31 assists totaling 51 points in 74 contests.

That is precisely the type of potential the Red Wings had hoped for when the organization called his name back in 2015.  Since then, it’s been a downhill slide for the young forward.  He followed that impressive first year in the organization up with a mere seven goals and 23 points during 57 games.

The following season was lost due to a knee injury that required surgery.

Last season, after a year removed from hockey, a year of rehab, Svechnikov compiled 11 goals and notched 25 points in 51 games with Grand Rapids.

As a Red Wing, Svechnikov’s only recorded four points in 20 games.

Entering the current offseason, the young forward had been a pending restricted free agent (RFA), leaving Yzerman a choice.  Does the organization try and move the young forward somewhere he can enjoy a new start, maybe Carolina, where he’d possibly be comfortable with his brother?  Or give the young man another shot in Detroit?  Yzerman chose the latter.

Recently the organization re-signed Svechnikov to a one-year deal worth $894,166 contract.  It’s a low-risk deal that may pay off for Detroit.

Svechnikov will have every opportunity to earn himself a spot in Detroit’s lineup next season as a top-nine forward, and the soon to be 24-year old might be a late bloomer.