New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has agreed to terms with forward Pavel Buchnevich on an entry-level contract.
Buchnevich, 21, split this past season between Severstal Cherepovets and SKA St. Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), registering 16 goals and 21 assists for 37 points, along with 24 penalty minutes in 58 games. He established KHL career-highs in games played, goals, assists, points, game-winning goals (three), power play goals (four), and average ice time (16:10). Among KHL players younger than 24 years old, Buchnevich ranked third in assists, ranked fourth in points, and tied for seventh in goals. He tallied three points (one goal, two assists) in the Gagarin Cup Playoffs while helping SKA St. Petersburg advance to the Western Conference Finals.
In 2014-15, Buchnevich registered 13 goals and 17 assists for 30 points, along with a plus-eight rating and 16 penalty minutes in 48 games with Severstal. Buchnevich's 30 points were the third-most a KHL player younger than 20 years old has recorded in one season in the league's history. Buchnevich's 17 assists were also the second-most a KHL player younger than 20 years old has posted in one season and his 13 goals were tied for the third-most a KHL player younger than 20 years old has tallied in one season. The only KHL player who recorded more assists and points than Buchnevich in a season which he was younger than 20 years old was Evgeny Kuznetsov. In addition, the only KHL players who matched or eclipsed Buchnevich's goal total in a season when they were younger than 20 years old were Kuznetsov and Vladimir Tarasenko.
The 6-2, 176-pounder skated in 158 career KHL games over parts of four seasons (2012-13 - 2015-16), registering 37 goals and 50 assists for 87 points, along with 52 penalty minutes. Buchnevich's goal, assist, and point totals increased in every season over his four years in the league. In addition, Buchnevich recorded 31 of his 37 career KHL goals at even strength and tallied seven game-winning goals.
Buchnevich played in Russia's Junior Hockey League (MHL) for parts of four seasons (2011-12 - 2014-15), registering 69 points (23 goals, 46 assists) and posting a plus-17 rating in 71 regular season games. He tallied 41 points (17 goals, 24 assists) in 31 career MHL playoff games, including 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) in 11 playoff games in 2015.
The Cherepovets, Russia, native has also represented his country in several tournaments. Buchnevich participated in the IIHF World Junior Championship in 2014 and 2015. In those tournaments, he recorded 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in 14 contests and helped Russia earn a medal each year (silver medal in 2015 and bronze medal in 2014). In addition, Buchnevich tied for first among all skaters in assists (six) and tied for second among all skaters in goals (five) and points (11) while representing Russia at the 2013 IIHF U18 World Championship.
Buchnevich was selected by the Rangers in the third round, 75th overall, of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.