• PROSPECT-UPDATE ARCHIVE
It is time to sing the praises of one very special young hockey player. What Andrei Svecchnikov did on Thursday night was truly remarkable, and what he is doing during this OHL season is already starting to look Gretzky-like in terms of offensive production. You can read about his four-point performance below, but the really impressive stat is that he is now leading the league in both points and goals.
Through nine games, Svechnikov has an astounding 10 goals and 14 points. In terms of scoring ability, he is everything that was advertised coming into the season. At this rate, he might end up as the No. 1 overall pick in June, simply because he is more a sure thing than Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, who has a more difficult position to learn at the NHL level, and will probably require more time to reach the top of his game.
Dahlin is the more generatonal player, and could be the next Erik Karlsson or better. Svechnikov has almost as much natural talent, and he could be a consistent 40-goal scorer in the NHL. You don't do what he's doing at this level unless you are headed for greatness at the next.
Not too many games involving draft prospects took place on Thursday, but Svechnikov was not alone in stardom, as there was an lesser-known hero in the NAHL. With a full weekend slate on tap, look for a full complement of 10 players on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That's 30 performances to eagerly anticipate.:
KYLER GRUNDY -- The Wisconsin native Grundy scored a goal and added an assist for the NAHL's Minnesota Magicians on Thursday, helping his team to a 5-4 OT win over the Springfield Jr. Blues. Grundy's goal came at 10:28 of the second period to cut the Blues' lead to 4-2. He later delivered the primary assist on the game-winner at 4:53 of overtime. A product of the Milwaukee Jr. Admirals, he's a sleeper, longshot NHL pick from a lower-profile league, but he has good size and could end up going in the later rounds next June.
ANDREI SVECHNIKOV -- The Russian phenom had his first four-point game in the OHL, picking up two goals and two assists in Barrie's 7-5 win over Erie. He started the scoring parade with a goal at 1:03 of the second period to stretch the early Colts lead to 3-0. He then scored again on a power play just over eight minutes later at 9:32 of the second, making it a 4-0 game. The Otters roared back, but Svechnikov was there to deliver the primary assist on the eventual game-winner for a 6-4 lead at 15:19 of the third period. He closed out his night with an assist on an empty-netter with 55 seconds remaining. That final assist pushed him into the OHL points lead, and he is on a pace to score 75 goals if he keeps it going. He has scored at least two goals in three of his past four games. (Note: Fourth appearance on this list in 2017-18 -- tied with Akil Thomas for overall lead)