By the Numbers will highlight the on-ice accomplishments in the 2017-18 season for the Detroit Red Wings' prospects. Twice a week during the offseason, By the Numbers will profile a different player in the system, focusing on their statistical highs. This week we focus on right wing Evgeny Svechnikov.
It would be a bit unfair and somewhat premature to write off Evgeny Svechnikov.
After all, Detroit's 2015 first-round pick, 19th overall, is only 21 years old and has shown signs during his first two pro seasons of developing into a top-six forward for the Wings.
Yet Red Wings officials are expecting the 6-foot-3, 212-pound right wing to elevate his game as he begins his third season as a pro.
Signed to a three-year entry level contract on October 2, 2015, Svechnikov played in two playoff games for the Grand Rapids Griffins in 2016 after spending the 2015-16 season with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the QMJHL.
In 50 games for the Screaming Eagles, Svechnikov had 32 goals among his 79 points, with 97 penalty minutes and was plus-26. He registered one assist and was minus-2 in his two playoff contests with the Griffins.
Svechnikov's first season in Grand Rapids (2016-17) was impressive. Appearing in 74 games, he had 20 goals, 31 assists, 62 penalty minutes and was even. His 51 total points ranked fourth among AHL rookies.
During the Griffins' successful Calder Cup run, Svechnikov notched five goals, doled out seven assists, accumulated 20 penalty minutes and was even in 19 playoff games.
Based on his performance as a rookie, expectations were lofty for Svechnikov as he entered his second season with Grand Rapids, but much like teammate Joe Hicketts, he experienced a substantial drop-off in his play in his sophomore season.
With several young forwards either already on the Wings roster or knocking on the door to make Detroit's lineup, Svechnikov is aware that despite being a high draft pick, he needs to make a push soon, because forward has been a position the Wings have replenished through the draft the last several years.
And with Detroit already having 11 more picks in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, making the Wings roster will only become more difficult.
57 - After missing the first four games of the Griffins season with a neck injury, Svechnikov appeared in 57 games for Grand Rapids.
7 - His total number of goals he scored last season for the Griffins after netting 20 as a rookie. Svechnikov had a slow start in Grand Rapids. He had only two goals in his first 26 games for the Griffins but did score five in his next 25 games before being recalled by the Red Wings.
16 - During his rookie year, he had 31 assists for Grand Rapids, which dropped to 16 last season. But after only notching three assists in first 26 games for the Griffins, he doled out 12 helpers in his next 25 games before Detroit recalled him on March 8.
23 - Svechnikov's point total last season after scoring 51 total points as a rookie. Granted, he missed the team's first four games due to injury and also played in a handful of games for the Wings once they called him up.
-4 - His plus/minus rating last season after being an even player as a rookie for the Griffins.
5 - Detroit sent Svechnikov back to Grand Rapids on April 4. The Wings wanted him to play in the AHL playoffs and help the Griffins defend their Calder Cup championship. In five playoff games, Svechnikov had one goal, which was his only point. He had four penalty minutes and was minus-3. In Game 5, when the Griffins needed a win at home to advance, Svechnikov was held scoreless, took a penalty, had one shot and was minus-2. After the 5-1 elimination loss to Manitoba, Svechnikov called himself out, essentially telling reporters this was his moment to lead and he didn't get the job done.
14 - Total number of games he played as a Red Wing after being recalled from Grand Rapids.
1 - On March 20, Svechnikov scored his first NHL goal/point against Philadelphia with former Red Wings netminder Petr Mrazek in net. Martin Frk and Dylan Larkin picked up the assists as the Wings defeated the Flyers 5-4 at Little Caesars Arena. In just 8:36 of total ice time, Svechnikov had a goal, four shots on net, was plus-1 and earned third star honors.
2 - His goal total last season with the Red Wings, which was also his total number of assists.
4 - In his 14 games in Detroit, Svechnikov scored four total points, with two goals, two assists and eight penalty minutes; he was minus-2 with an average ice time of 8:49.
19 - Detroit selected Svechnikov in the first round, 19th overall, in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. The Wings didn't have a second-round pick. They chose defenseman Vili Saarijarvi in third round, 73rd overall, followed by goalie Joren van Pottleberghe in the fourth round, 110th overall. Svechnikov was the third player taken 19th overall by the Red Wings in the NHL Entry and Amateur drafts. Defenseman Jakub Kindl was selected 19th overall in the first round of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft and center Rene LeClerc was taken 19th overall in the fourth round of the 1964 NHL Amateur Draft.
Quotable: "I think consistency is a huge thing with any player. I wouldn't say this is a make or break year, but I do think it is a very pivotal year for The Svech. He's not the first player to go through that quote unquote sophomore slump. He had a very good rookie year and for whatever reason it didn't come together last year. He's not the first player that's going to go through that, he's not the last player that's going to go through that. There's a lot of things that goes on away from the rink that people just don't know. In his first year his brother was in Muskegon playing in the USHL and his mother would visit a lot and help him with stuff and all of a sudden, she is gone and his brother is playing in the OHL. Maybe that had something to do with it, I don't know. What I do know is Svech works way too hard and cares way too much to let that slide continue. He's a tremendous character player, he works extremely hard and if there is anyone who can dig himself out of that quote unquote hole he was in, it's going to be him. I saw him at the draft and he's looking great, he's working hard, he's excited to get back to work. He's excited about the opportunity of this year." - Ben Simon, Grand Rapids Griffins head coach