Andrei Svechnikov has been killing it in his sophomore NHL season with the Carolina Hurricanes. Is there any way of finding out his real ceiling?
Number 37 for the Carolina Hurricanes reached 37 points with the team in 82 games played in his rookie season last year finishing it with 20 goals and 17 assists. This season Andrei Svechnikov has already long surpassed that number. In only 52 games played so far he managed to reach the same 20 goal milestone and there are no signs of him stopping.
In fact as he continues to get comfortable playing in the NHL his play has become more and more dangerous. There is no question to the matter of if he will be one of the best superstars in the league and a face of the franchise if not the NHL. The only real question remaining is just how high he will soar.
While he isn’t having the epic teenage seasons of some of the biggest names in the history of the sport, he is still placing himself in their company. Add on the fact that he was the first and second player in the league to score a goal via the newly dubbed “Svech”, or for those who think that college hockey matters, the “Legg” or “Michigan” and you have the recipe for a living legend.
He continuously shocks the league and the fans each and every night with either a goal, an assist, or even an important play in the defensive zone. Each night he shows us a little more growth and a little more power and quiet honestly, its terrifying. Just take a look at his goal against the Vancouver Canucks the other night:
He took that team four on one, found the outside zone, came in and just muscled his way to the net. To score on the initial shot after all that as well is simply mind boggling. But the visuals to his goals is only a hint of what his actual performance could entail, not to mention how he continues to improve on his rookie season.
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Lets start with shots. Andrei Svechnikov is shooting more. Last season he averaged 2.3 shots per game. This year that average has gone up to 2.7 shots per game. That may not seem like much but when you add on the increase in shot percentage, up to 14.5% from last season’s 10.6%, you are looking a kid who is not only more comfortable shooting, but better at it too.
That has led to the 20 goals he has already this season and has him on pace for over 30 goals by the end of the season. But he isn’t a one man show, Andrei Svechnikov already has 26 assists and is on pace for almost 40 assists by the end of the season, over twice as many as he had last year. He is seeing the ice better and has a knack for finding his teammates.
But even all those numbers are not doing Andrei Svechnikov the justice that he deserves as he skyrockets through his second season in the NHL. He is hitting more and he is controlling the puck and ice better than he did last year and it doesn’t seem to matter who his line-mates are. Everyone seems to play better around him.
Where does his ceiling go on to? Only time will tell, but as he continues to stay healthy, get stronger and bigger, there is only one way his career trends, and that is upwards. In a few years it wouldn’t be out of the question to see Svechnikov become a mainstay attraction in the league as he helps put the Carolina Hurricanes square on the map.
Question for CC Readers: Where do you think Svechnikov ends the season in terms of goals and points?