The Detroit Red Wings drafted Russian forward Evgeny Svechnikov with the 19th overall selection in the 2015 NHL Draft, and it was the hope of team management that he'd eventually develop into an every-day player who would play a key role in the organization's future.
And things began well, as Svechnikov scored 20 goals and 31 assists in 74 games with the Red Wings' AHL affiliate Grand Rapids Griffins during the 2016-17 season, and followed that up by 12 points in 19 playoff games as he helped the Griffins earn the Calder Cup championship.
However, he followed that successful campaign up with just seven goals and 16 assists in 57 games with Grand Rapids, and two goals and two assists in in 14 games with the Red Wings. A knee injury cost him the entirety of the 2018-19 season, further hindering his development.
Svechnikov was well traveled this most recent season, going back and forth between the Red Wings and the Griffins, and being waived twice. And the team decided to end their relationship with him after electing not to tend an offer him by last month's deadline to qualify restricted free agents; they also exposed him to the NHL Expansion Draft for the Seattle Kraken. It looked like his NHL future appeared cloudy at best, but that could soon be changing.
Could he soon find himself taking flight in Winnipeg? According to Sportsnet contributor Ken Wiebe, it's a possibility. He tweeted earlier tonight that there is "mutual interest" between Svechnikov and the Jets.
"Hearing there is mutual interest between #NHLJets and former @DetroitRedWingsF Evgeny Svechnikov. @spinohockey was on this earlier today. Svechnikov, who turns 25 in October, was the 19th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft and has 5 G, 12 P in 41 NHL games. He’s a RW, shoots L."
In 41 career NHL games, the 6-feet-3, 208-pound Svechnikov recorded five goals and seven assists; he scored three goals and five assists in 21 games with Detroit last season.
Could he be a potential fit with the Jets? General manager Kevin Cheveldayoff will soon have a decision to make, especially now that his team is projected to be at least $5.5 million over the cap after inking both Neal Pionk and Andrew Copp to new deals.
Source: Twitter · Photo Credit: NHL.com