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NHL Draft

Svechnikov to sign with Barrie of Ontario Hockey League

Right wing, potential top pick in 2018 NHL Draft, will play juniors in CHL

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

Right wing Andrei Svechnikov, a candidate to be the No. 1 pick of the 2018 NHL Draft, will officially sign with Barrie of the Ontario Hockey League prior to the start of training camp next month, according to agent Mark Gandler.

Svechnikov (6-foot-1, 188 pounds), 17, was chosen by Barrie with the first pick of the 2017 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft on June 28.

"I am extremely excited and honored to be chosen first overall in the CHL import Draft and I am very excited to be coming to the OHL and the Barrie Colts," Svechnikov told the Barrie website last month.

He was rookie of the year in the United States Hockey League last season after finishing sixth in the league with 58 points (29 goals, 29 assists) in 48 games for Muskegon. Svechnikov helped Russia win the bronze medal at the 2017 IIHF World Under-18 Championship with a team-best nine points (four goals, five assists) in seven games.

"He was dominant in [the USHL] as a 16-year-old," said David Gregory of NHL Central Scouting. "He just does so many things well from his skating skills, puck skills, hockey sense. He's a candidate to be rated in the discussion as No. 1 next year."

Svechnikov is the younger brother of Detroit Red Wings forward prospect Evgeny Svechnikov, who made his NHL debut in April after being selected with the 19th pick of the 2015 NHL Draft.

He hopes to follow in the footsteps of current NHL players to star for Barrie in their draft-eligible season, including Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad (2014 draft, No. 1 pick), Los Angeles Kings left wing Tanner Pearson (2012 draft, No. 30) and Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele (2011, No. 7).

"Andrei is a very skilled hockey player," Barrie coach Dale Hawerchuk said. "He's a natural goal scorer and we're fortunate to have player like that joining the team. He's one of those players that make his teammates on the ice better."

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