With the second overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, the Carolina Hurricanes selected Russian winger Andrei Svechnikov.
As the Carolina Hurricanes approached the stage at American Airlines Center to make the second pick of the 2018 NHL Draft, there wasn't much intrigue as to what name was going to be called out.
It was going to be Andrei Svechnikov.
That much was known - or at least figured - nearly two months ago when the Hurricanes defied the odds to leapfrog their way from 11th all the way to two in the first-round draft order.
The team had done its homework. They knew they had a player on their hands.
Andrei Svechnikov is the NHL Central Scouting Service's top-ranked North American skater, and he's widely projected to be the No. 2 pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.
It's easy to see why.
The 6-foot-2, 192-pound Russian winger is an offensive force. Svechnikov scored 40 goals in 44 games for the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League and earned OHL Rookie of the Year and CHL Top Prospect of the Year honors after totaling 72 points in the 2017-18 season.
"He's a complete player. He plays a 200-foot game. He can play the power game. He can play the finesse game. He's big and strong and has skill. He understands how to play with and without the puck. ... I think he's probably one of the most complete players we've seen in a few years. He gives you a little bit of everything. He's a guy who is capable of being an impact player for your franchise for a lot of years."
- Tony MacDonald, Hurricanes Director of Amateur Scouting
"I think if there's one CHL player right now who can step into an NHL lineup it would probably be Svechnikov. He's big and his shot is so powerful. He just drops the shoulder and turns it on; you can't stop him. His shot bides him so much time and space that defenders have to play up on him, but he has the skill to dance around you. He's a magician on the half-wall on the power play."
- Karl Stewart, NHL Central Scouting
"I had to think long and hard to find flaws in his game. There aren't many. He's a special player. A sniper, a net front presence, a playmaker, a machine in puck battles, and a strong backchecker - all in one. He's the complete package. Rasmus Dahlin is going first overall, but whoever gets Svechnikov is getting a consolation prize worthy of first-overall in many other drafts."
- Mitch Brown, The Athletic
"He just has such a great talent package. He's got size. He skates very well. He can put the puck in the net. I was talking to his old GM John Vanbiesbrouck, the former Rangers goaltender who had him at USHL Muskegon, and he said 'This kid goes to the net like Mark Messier.' And he says, 'I don't say that as an illustrative point like you know, he does it like Mark Messier.' He goes to the crease, he'll pay the price. It's going to be tough to pass on Svechnikov."
- Ryan Kennedy, The Hockey News
"He's a strong kid, good size, skates really well and drives the net. He's hard to handle driving the net and is going to be a unique player. You don't see too many like him."
- Dale Hawerchuk, Barrie Colts head coach & Hall of Fame NHL center
"Svechnikov has size, speed and skill. He can play a power game or a finesse game, make plays or score goals any way they can be scored - off the rush, one timers from far out, getting his nose dirty in front of the net or off the cycle."
- Bob McKenzie, TSN