#37 / Right Wing
Height: 6’2” | Weight: 195 | Born: March 26, 2000
Birthplace: Barnaul, RUS | Acquired: Drafted 2nd, 2018 (Carolina)
Assets: Owns outstanding offensive instincts, projectable NHL size, great hands, creativity and excellent goal-scoring acumen. Can take over a hockey game. Is also an accomplished playmaker from the wing position.
Flaws: Will need to fully fill out his big frame in order to withstand the rigors of the National Hockey League game, especially the tighter checking in smaller North American arenas. Also needs to work on his defense.
Career potential: Mega-talented scoring winger with big upside.
Why You Should Know Who He Is: Vancouver’s Elias Pettersson has probably had the most written about him among this year’s rookie class, but Andrei Svechnikov has justified his second-overall selection from last summer’s draft. He was tied for third among rookies in goals (20) and tied for seventh in points (37), despite being eased into a responsible role with Carolina this season (14:39 in ice time per game). Carolina has only lost twice in regulation in games in which he recorded a goal (14-2-2). An odd thing about Svechnikov was a peculiar consistency. He appeared in all 82 games for Carolina this season. In his first ten games he was 2-2-4. In his second ten games he was 2-2-4. In his last ten games he was, yes, 2-2-4. In four of his first seven ten-game splits he had four points and those four points in his last ten games.
How the Caps Can Stop Him: Get a lead. It might sound odd, if not obvious, but getting a lead might force Carolina into giving an offensive-minded player like Svechnikov more ice time, and while he has not done poorly with a heavier workload, it has not been accompanied by team success. Twenty times this season he skated at least 16 minutes, and in them he went 6-4-10 while Carolina had a dismal 5-11-4 record. Yes, 11 of those games were against playoff-eligible teams (and the Hurricanes went 2-8-1 in them), but this is the level of competition now. And he had only two points in those games, both of them assists. His shot profile is interesting, too. Apparently, less is more, at least in terms of team success. Carolina is 20-7-2 in the 29 games in which he recorded one or no shots on goal. They were 7-7-2 in games in which Svechnikov recorded at least four shots on goal.