NHL.com examines how rookie wing Andrei Svechnikov can make an immediate impact in the Carolina Hurricanes top six and projects his fantasy value for 2018-19:
Wing Andrei Svechnikov, drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes with the No. 2 pick in the 2018 NHL Draft on Friday, gives their top six an immediate goal-scoring threat.
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The 6-foot-2, 192-pound Russian wing scored 40 goals in 44 games as a rookie for Barrie of the Ontario Hockey League. His 0.91 goals-per-game average led OHL skaters. Svechnikov's impressive goal total came despite missing nearly two months of the regular season with a hand injury. He also produced on the international stage with five assists in five games for Russia at the 2018 World Junior Championship.
His goal-scoring clip at the junior level combined with his size indicate he's ready to crack the Hurricanes lineup in 2018-19. It's easy to picture Svechnikov fitting in alongside either center Jordan Staal or Elias Lindholm and possibly even forward Teuvo Teravainen, who played center at times in 2017-18. The best-case scenario for prospective fantasy owners is Svechnikov playing on the top line with the highly skilled Finnish duo of Sebastian Aho and Teravainen. Aho and Tervainen had at least 60 points in 2017-18 and finished top five in scoring at the 2018 World Championship.
Svechnikov would gain fantasy value if wing Jeff Skinner, who leads the Hurricanes in goals (204 in 579 games) and power-play points (98) since entering the NHL in 2010-11 is traded this offseason. A Skinner trade would open up a hole in Carolina's top six and on the first power-play unit with Aho, Teravainen, Staal and either defenseman Justin Faulk or Noah Hanifin. It's worth noting that Hurricanes prospect Martin Necas, the No. 12 pick in the 2017 draft, is projected to make the roster, adding even more talent to their forward group.
Carolina could also benefit from its coaching change after hiring Rod Brind'Amour to replace Bill Peters on May 8. The Hurricanes have been a strong possession team in recent seasons and could take the next step and make the Stanley Cup Playoffs if they properly utilize their young players and find goaltending stability.
The past three No. 2 picks, Nolan Patrick (2017), Patrik Laine (2016) and Jack Eichel (2015), were all full-time NHL players the season after being drafted, and Eichel and Laine were fantasy-relevant. Laine, the only wing of those three, had 36 goals in 73 games and finished 63rd in Yahoo as an 18-year-old rookie in 2016-17.
Svechnikov doesn't come with the same fanfare as Laine did with the Winnipeg Jets, but the former's goal-scoring ceiling could be just as high. Fantasy owners should closely monitor any trades the Hurricanes make this offseason and plan on targeting Svechnikov as a sleeper pick in the ninth round or later. Once Aho and Teravainen are off the board, Svechnikov should be considered the next most-valuable Hurricanes player and a fringe top 100 overall asset.
Projection: 78 games played, 28 goals, 24 assists, 52 points
Draft range in 12-team fantasy league: Rounds 9-10 (picks: 97-120)