Detroit Red Wings prospect Evgeny Svechnikov showing promise with Grand Rapids Griffins this season after missing 2018-19 season with torn ACL.
The maturation process happens at its own rate.
Sometimes you’re thrown into the fire and produce like New Jersey Devils forward Jack Hughes. On other occasions you get a little bit of American Hockey League (AHL) seasoning like Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin did in his extremely short stint with the Grand Rapids Griffins before making the NHL roster.
Heck, some guys don’t ever make it to a NHL rink and become AHL regulars for their entire career, but that won’t be the case for Griffins forward Evgeny Svechnikov.
The four-year professional who was drafted 19th overall in the 2015 NHL draft by the Red Wings is surging after an up and down start to his career. In his past four games, he has three goals and already has more this season (11) than he did in 57 games (7) in 2017-18 after missing the entire 2018-19 season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
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I don’t think anybody can project even now if he’ll be a 30-goal scorer at the NHL level, but I do think he’ll become a NHL regular next season.
A lot of the Red Wings’ duds from this season still have at least two years or more on their current contracts (looking at you Justin Abdelkader, Valtteri Filppula, Frans Nielsen). That’s not good for the development of the youngsters, but with expiring contracts on the books for Brendan Perlini, Christoffer Ehn and Adam Erne – coupled with hope that general manager Steve Yzerman can make room with a trade deadline move – there is roster space to be had next season.
Some will and can argue that we’ve seen this type of run from Svechnikov before. Why? Because it happened. In his first full season as a professional with the Griffins, Svechnikov scored 20 goals and had 31 assists in 74 games.
But it’s OK that we’ve seen this before. In fact, it’s good to see him regaining form. Whether or not he can be consistent in the NHL is a different story, but I think we’ll consistently see him in a Red Wings uniform next season.
He has to be better than what they have now, right?