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Fans Name Andrei Svechnikov One of NHL's Top Wingers

Svechnikov ranks in top 10 of NHL Network fan poll

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / Hurricanes.com

Andrei Svechnikov is the sixth-best winger in the National Hockey League, according to fans polled by the NHL Network.

Though the Canes' star forward was curiously absent from the NHL Network's list of Top 20 Wings Right Now, as revealed on Sunday night, fans ranked Svechnikov behind only Artemi Panarin, Nikita Kucherov, Alex Ovechkin, Patrick Kane and David Pastrnak.

Pretty good company.

In his second NHL season, Svechnikov improved in every category from an already impressive rookie season, despite the 2019-20 campaign being trimmed short. At still just 19 years old, Svechnikov ranked second on the team in goals (24), second on the team in assists (37) and third on the team in points (61). Svechnikov recorded an 11-game point streak (5g, 8a) in February, the longest point streak by a teenager in franchise history, besting his nine-game point streak (5g, 8a) from November, the second-longest point streak by a teenager in franchise history. Svechnikov totaled 98 points (44g, 54a) in 150 career NHL games prior to his 20th birthday on March 26, marking the fourth-most goals and points by a teenager in franchise history.

The lasting memory from Svechnikov's sophomore season was, of course, The Svech, a lacrosse-style goal that had never before been scored in the NHL - and he did it twice.

Svechnikov made history on Oct. 29, 2019, when he scored his first lacrosse-style goal. With the Canes trailing the Calgary Flames 1-0 in the third period, Svechnikov slammed on the brakes and reversed course behind the net, scooping the puck onto his blade so he could tuck it in above David Rittich's right shoulder. 

Video: CGY@CAR: Svechnikov scores lacrosse-style goal

The jaw-dropping moment - arguably the goal of the season scored not even a month into the season - was only the beginning.

Just 49 days later, Svechnikov did it again.

This time, Svechnikov executed it in one fluid motion, not breaking his stride behind the net as he turned to face the back of the cage, scooped the puck onto his blade and rammed it in over Connor Hellebuyck's right shoulder.

Video: CAR@WPG: Svechnikov nets second lacrosse-style goal

"That's unbelievable," Sebastian Aho laughed. "That's unreal. Really impressive."

Svechnikov is, indeed, really impressive, and he's only going to continue to improve as one of the league's budding young stars whose name you will find on lists of top wingers - or, even top players - for years to come. TV's Mike Maniscalco and I opined on NHL Network's list on episode 148 of CanesCast (2:10 mark).

NHL Network will continue their weekly positional countdowns in November with their lists of top 20 centers and top 10 goaltenders. Then in December, NHL Network will reveal its list of top 50 players.

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