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Andrei Svechnikov dreams of playing with brother Evgeny as Red Wings

Andrei and other top draft-eligible players are in Plymouth for Under-18 Five Nations Tournament

by Dana Wakiji @Dwakiji /

PLYMOUTH, Mich. -- There's one player that would like nothing more than to have the Detroit Red Wings call his name in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft.

His name will be familiar and not just because he is among the top three players in all the rankings.

That's because he is Andrei Svechnikov, younger brother of Evgeny Svechnikov, whom the Wings took in the first round, 19th overall, in the 2015 draft.

"It would be like a dream because we could win a Stanley Cup together," said Svechnikov after helping lead Team Russia to a 9-2 victory over Team Czech Republic in the Under-18 Five Nations Tournament at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Mich. Thursday night.

Svechnikov is ranked first by NHL Central Scouting for North American skaters, second by, ISS Hockey and Future Considerations and third by McKeen's Hockey.

Most experts believe Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin will be the No. 1 overall pick in Dallas this June.

Dahlin was selected to play for Team Sweden in the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, so he is not among the many draft-eligible players in Plymouth this week.

"Yes, I wish actually (he was in Plymouth)," Svechnikov said. "He is a great kid, he like has everything, stickhandles and skates, a good guy."

Dahlin's absence gave Svechnikov a chance to shine in this tournament and the 17-year-old Russian forward has not disappointed.

Svechnikov scored a power-play goal in Team Russia's 4-0 victory over Team Finland on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Svechnikov assisted on an even-strength goal by Grigory Denisenko that put Team Russia up 3-2 in the second period.

In the third, Svechnikov scored a pretty backhand, top shelf goal while shorthanded and then an even-strength goal for Team Russia's seventh and eighth tallies.

"He showed tonight that he's a true sniper, a good forward and he helps us, makes us strong on offense," Team Russia head coach Aleksander Zybin said. "Besides that, he helps us kill penalties, so he's on the PK unit as well and he's a huge asset for us."

Although considered perhaps the best forward among draft-eligible players this year, Svechnikov said he has things he wants to improve.

"Like everything," Svechnikov said. "I try like every day to work on everything like hands and skate."

Svechnikov made the decision to come to the United States to play for the USHL's Muskegon Lumberjacks in 2016-17 and had 29 goals and 29 assists in 48 games.

"Because I want to play in the NHL," Svechnikov said about playing in the United States as opposed to Russia.

This season, he's playing for the OHL's Barrie Colts, where he has 30 goals and 18 assists in 32 games despite missing eight weeks with a broken hand that required surgery.

"I think my season, I had surgery, it was hard to play after surgery, like a couple of games, like the World Juniors a little bit, I think ok," Svechnikov said.

Svechnikov had five assists in five games at the World Junior Championship in Buffalo at the end of December through the beginning of January.

Everywhere Svechnikov goes, including the Five Nations Tournament in Plymouth, there are many scouts and front office personnel watching him.

Among the many in Plymouth this week are Red Wings general manager Ken Holland, assistant to the general manager Kris Draper, director of European scouting Hakan Andersson, co-director of player development Dan Cleary and Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman.

Svechnikov knows he is being watched but is not concerned with it.

"I don't think about this, you know, I need (to) just stay focused and play my game," Svechnikov said.

Svechnikov said his favorite player growing up was Pavel Bure and he tries to model his game after the Russian Rocket's.

"(His) speed, like shot, great shot, yeah," Svechnikov said. "I think I play a physical game. I want to be around the net, drive the puck to the net, a good shot, stuff like that."

While he admires Bure, he loves his brother, who is four years older than he is.

Evgeny Svechnikov had a neck injury during the preseason and then started slow once he returned to the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins.

In 45 games, Evgeny Svechnikov has seven goals, 11 assists and is minus-5. He made his NHL debut last April 3 at home against the Ottawa Senators and scored the game-winner during the shootout.

Andrei Svechnikov said he speaks to his brother pretty much every day and trained with him a little bit in the offseason.

Although the Wings would have to miss the playoffs and get a lot of luck to be able to draft the younger Svechnikov, it's something the brothers have talked about.

"I want it, too," Svechnikov said. "When we grow up together, we want to play like together every time.

"That's my dream."

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