Forward Andrei Svechnikov of Barrie of the Ontario Hockey League, expected to be a top-five pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, will be out 6-8 weeks because of a hand injury.
Svechnikov (6-foot-2, 186 pounds) is tied for second in the OHL with 10 goals in 10 games, one behind Sault Ste. Marie's Boris Katchouk (Tampa Bay Lightning).
He earned an A rating from NHL Central Scouting in its preliminary players to watch list.
"I think if there's one player right now that could step into an NHL lineup it would be him," Central Scouting's Karl Stewart said of Svechnikov. "His stride is so powerful. When he wants to, he drops the shoulder and turns it on and he's around you. You can't stop him. His shot buys him so much time and space and he's got the skills to dance around you. He's a magician on the half wall on the power play. … He's an NHL player right now playing in the OHL."
With Muskegon of the United States Hockey League last season, he was fifth in the league with 29 goals and sixth with 58 points. Barrie selected him with the No. 1 pick of the 2017 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft.
He is the younger brother of Detroit Red Wings forward prospect Evgeny Svechnikov.