Andrei Svechnikov is a 2018 draft eligible star who currently plays for the Barrie Colts. He’s had quite the season even though he suffered a broken hand early on. In 16 games, he has 14 goals and 21 points. He was once thought of as the potential first overall selection in the upcoming draft. Right now, he’s the clear #2 unless he can give teams a reason to think otherwise as the 2018 World Junior Championship approaches.
I first got a look at him in Grand Forks, ND when he was part of the U17 team that was elevated to the U18s because of the meldonium scandal. He got in five games and scored a few goals. You could already see the talent that I had been forewarned about.
Last year in the U18s he shined. He had nine points in seven games. He was fourth in scoring for the tournament and he had just turned 17. He was voted one of the top three players on his team and he took home a bronze medal.
At 6-2, 185 pounds he has a devastating mix of size, speed, and physical strength. He will lay that big hit, score that big goal and deke around the best of defenders.
Rasmus Dahlin may have to cover him. That could be the matchup of the tournament. If not for the entire tournament, for the time (s) they will face each other. New Year’s Eve at 8PM will be that first time.
Alex Ovechkin is Russia’s all-time leader for U18 and U20 tournaments with a combined 31 points. Svechnikov won’t be able to touch that but if he scores 10 points in this tournament, which is possible, he would be third all-time tied with Nikita Kucherov (21 points). He’s currently 16th tied with the Rangers Pavel Buchnevich, Edmonton’s Anton Slepyshev, and Nikolai Zherdev to name a few.
He was once the USHL Rookie of the Year. He’s usually one of the youngest players in tournaments and one of the best. He’s not like his brother, Evgeny (Red Wings system). His brother doesn’t have the speed or the creativity. No slight to him but Andrei is something special.
Don’t sleep on this exciting player. Right now, other players are getting a lot more press than he is. Once his skates hit the ice I fully expect that to change. He can’t drop in the draft at this point but there is a way for him to still challenge for that top spot. That’s what makes this tournament so great. The hockey world will be watching!