Photo: David Jala, Cape Breton Post
Thanks to a couple deals at the deadline, the Flyers have quite a few draft picks to work with at the trade deadline. While the top end of the 2015 NHL draft has been heavily discussed, the Flyers possess two picks in the first round of very deep draft class. One player who may be available later in the draft is Evgeny Svechnikov, a left wing for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the QMJHL.
He’s already played in the KHL before jumping to the QMJHL to learn the North American style, so hopefully that bodes well for his development. Most importantly, the experience of spending a few games in the KHL against men hopefully means he can bring that ability with him to the NHL. As a left wing, Svechnikov would instantly fill a role on the Flyers who are pretty much devoid of any top line left wing prospects. Given the Flyers have center options, like Scott Laughton, and right wing options like Nicolas Aube-Kubel, the Flyers need left wings in a dire way. Luckily, with Lecavalier, Umberger and Brayden Schenn on the roster right now, there’s no rush to get Svechnikov to the NHL. While he’s likely better than Umberger or Lecavalier, the Flyers aren’t ready to jump into contending yet so drafting Svechnikov and keeping him in the QMJHL isn’t a bad idea. Just like the projecting prospect series, it’s possible to extrapolate what Svechnikov is capable of in the NHL.
As shown by Vollman’s projection, we can extrapolate his expected point production. Combining the regular season and playoffs, Svechnikov had 1.37 points per game which is an NHL pace of .356 points per game or 29 points per 82 games. As I wrote last week, 29 points for a left wing is either a high end line 3 wing or low end second line left wing. Basically, Svechnikov is ready for middle six minutes offensively.
Let’s go one step further, and instead of rushing him to the NHL, use an implied AHL-NHL from the Q, as described by Gabe Desjardins. In this case, we’ll assume that the Flyers slide Svechnikov’s contract and then keep him in the AHL. Using the same 1.37 points per game from this season, you get an implied AHL-NHL .93 points per game or 76 points per 82. Now, 76 points would make Svechnikov and elite top line left wing, the perfect skill player to play with Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek.
This makes Svechnikov a solid player to draft, he just needs to be available when the Flyers pick the second time around in Round 1. NHL Central Scouting ranks him 17 (mid term of 21) among North American skaters so the key is to hope he falls back to the 27-30 range where the Flyers pick again.