Ramblings: Svechnikov’s Upside; Roslovic’s Value; Sanheim Signs – August 24

Michael Clifford

2021-08-24

I was writing about the Carolina Hurricanes and their offseason movement and one player we haven't really talked much about is Andrei Svechnikov. It wasn't that long ago that I thought he was on the verge of genuine superstardom. He hasn't reached that peak yet, and in fact took a step back pretty much across the board in 2021. So, what is he?

We need to keep his age in mind here. He is still just 21 years old and is only about to enter his prime. When we look at what he's done, he's in rarified air: since the 1994 lockout, there have been six players with 50 goals, 80 assists, and 500 shots in their age 18-20 seasons. Those six players are Marian Gaborik, Ilya Kovalchuk, Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos, Nathan MacKinnon, and Andrei Svechnikov. What is curious is that he was clearly the least used on the power play among all those guys. In those seasons, he has 10 PP goals, while no one else on that list had fewer than 18, and four out of the other five had at least 21 (Stamkos had 50!). If he performs on the power play like the rest on this list, he might not be far off from what Gaborik did to start his career, and that's exceptional.

His usage is what is concerning. He got up to 17:32 a game last year, but that's still not a lot. When we look at the elite producers in the league on the wing – Kane, Guentzel, Panarin, Rantanen, Marchand – they're all over 19 minutes a night, some over 20. Svech doesn't have to play 20-21 minutes a night to be extremely valuable, but if he can get to 19 a night, we are talking a 70-point winger at least. In conjunction with his ability to put up nearly three shots and two hits per game as it is, well, the upside is clear. In a multi-cat league, a winger with 30 goals, 40 assists, 240 shots, 150 hits, and 20 PPPs is a top-25 player. Those are all reasonable targets for him, assuming he gets the ice time he deserves.

If he doesn't, well, there may not be a huge increase coming. He will rebound from last season,