2015 first round pick, Evgeny Svechnikov has made it to the professional level of hockey way earlier than most people expected.
On Saturday, Svechnikov joined the Grand Rapids Griffins as they played Game 5 of the Central Division Finals against the Lake Erie Monsters. He recorded an assist, two shots on goal and helped the Griffins stay alive in the series with a 6-1 victory. He was on a line with Tomas Nosek and Mitch Callahan and seemed to feel quite comfortable at the conclusion of the game.
“It was exciting; first game as a pro and good win for the team and I thought personally I played well.”
“It took a couple periods as I got more time with the puck to get comfortable.”
“I started to get more comfortable and was shooting better and better and I thought the third period was good for me.”
Head coach, Todd Nelson seems to like what he saw from the 19-year old Russian’s first pro performance.
“He protects the puck well, a heady player with a creative mind and we saw a bit of that tonight. All those things put together made him look like a pretty valuable prospect for us going forward.”
With making it to the Griffins in such a short amount of time, one starts to think where Evgeny will be playing next season.
Does he impress enough down in Grand Rapids to keep himself on the team for next season?
Does he perform well at the Prospects Tournament in Traverse City and possibly crack a spot on the Detroit Red Wings’ roster?
It’s “unethical” for any young player to make the Red Wings’ roster at such a young age.
Dylan Larkin made the roster at the age of 19 last season and the likes of Andreas Athanasiou and Anthony Mantha both got their taste of the NHL last season as well.
The three above mentioned players aren’t above the age of 22. The youth movement has been praised by Wings fans for a number of years now. Too many veterans on the team that need to make way for the younger guys.
The Red Wings are known for having one of the best, if not the best minor league hockey program in the entire league. They don’t rush players to the big show, they establish them in the minors and get them ready to play in the NHL. There are many players in the minor leagues that are ‘NHL ready’ for the Wings, but the main roster is so cluttered that there isn’t any room for them.
It’s encouraging guys like Larkin, Athanasiou, Mantha and Svechnikov breaking into the professional ranks at such young ages and pushing those veterans and giving the coaching staff a legitimate reason to why they need to be playing at the highest level.
The youth movement is extremely bright in Hockeytown and you can add Evgeny Svechnikov to that list of players.
I understand it’s only one game and a lot of things can happen from the end of this season to next season, but you don’t just make it to the pros for no reason You have to have a skill set and something about you that sets you apart from everybody else.
Svechnikov seems to have whatever that may be, and it’s the reason why he’s playing professional playoff hockey at age 19.
What do you think, Nation, is Evgeny Svechnikov just a ‘flash in the pan’ type talent, or does this kid really have what it takes to be a staple on the Wings’ roster for years to come? Sound off!