Detroit Red Wings: Comparing brothers, Andrei and Evgeny Svechnikov

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 22: Goaltender Jimmy Howard #35 of the Detroit Red Wings covers the puck as teammates Dennis Cholowski #21, Trevor Daley #83 and Anthony Mantha #39 battle Andrei Svechnikov #37 and Jordan Martinook #48 of the Carolina Hurricanes during an NHL game at Little Caesars Arena on October 22, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. The Hurricanes defeated the Wings 3-1. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 22: Goaltender Jimmy Howard #35 of the Detroit Red Wings covers the puck as teammates Dennis Cholowski #21, Trevor Daley #83 and Anthony Mantha #39 battle Andrei Svechnikov #37 and Jordan Martinook #48 of the Carolina Hurricanes during an NHL game at Little Caesars Arena on October 22, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. The Hurricanes defeated the Wings 3-1. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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In 2015, the Detroit Red Wings drafted winger, Evgeny Svechnikov, in the first round, 19th overall. Since then, his name–among others–has become synonymous with the rebuilding process. He is one of several talented young players coming up in the ranks.

Last week, we learned the Detroit Red Wings will have to wait another year to unleash Evgeny Svechnikov. The left wing, who turns 22 this week, had knee surgery which will keep him sidelined until next season. The timing of this news could not come at a more interesting time:  his younger brother, Andrei, 18, came to town this week with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Although he was mostly a non-factor in the game, hearing his name took its emotional toll on Red Wings fans. Any utterance of his last name was a dagger reminding fans what could have been this year.

Andrei Svechnikov saw 18 shifts against his brother’s team. For the most part, he was nullified on the ice, taking two shots in his time and picking up a hooking penalty. In nine career games, Andrei has had points in three of them, netting two goals and adding two assists.

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He has had some growing pains adjusting to the NHL, to be sure, but the second overall pick in the 2018 draft is far from a disappointment. He was fast-tracked to the league after being a top prospect for the Barrie Colts organization (OHL); he is only 18 years old, after all.

Evgeny has been no slouch either. He has only played in 16 games at the NHL level–meaning Andrei arrived much quicker–but the majority of his formative time has been spent at the junior level. Between stints with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (QMJHL) and the Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL), Svechnikov has scored 86 goals in nearly 200 games. He was a vital part of the 2017 Calder Cup champion Griffins squad. There is evidence, then, that he will be an essential part of the ongoing Red Wings rebuild.

Although they both play at the wing, their play styles are not all that similar. Evgeny has an inch and some pounds over his brother, while Andrei is quicker and gets more chances at the net. Their circumstances, however, could not be more aligned.

Both were first-round draft selections. Both are third line players (when healthy) with a higher potential ceiling. And both were selected to help struggling teams. The Detroit Red Wings have not made the playoffs since 2016, the Hurricanes since 2009, and both teams must rely on their prospects if they are to improve in the future.

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To compare the two players at this exact moment may be distressing for the Detroit Red Wings. While one brother is ascendant and getting good ice time, the other is confined to the bench due to an injury beyond control. How apropos that the Hurricanes surged past the floundering Red Wings on Monday. But both of these players will almost certainly bring success to their teams down the road.