You all know this by now, but Evgeny Svechnikov has been called up to make his season debut tonight for the Red Wings.
As news started pouring in from the morning skate, two things became clear:
- Andreas Athanasiou will be centering the third line in place of Frans Nielsen. Svechnikov and Justin Abdelkader will be on his wings.
- Svechnikov is more than simply an emergency call-up. He’s here for the long run.
blashill: over time, svechnikov has learned to use his skill in a more efficient way.
he wants to be great so badly, he can sometimes be too tough on himself.
svechnikov will stay, even when nielsen returns.
— gregg krupa (@greggkrupa) March 8, 2018
While this is certainly exciting for fans, it’s even more exciting for Svechnikov himself, who is finally taking the first step in achieving his dream of becoming a full-time NHL player. There are certainly more bumps in the road ahead, but Jeff Blashill’s assertion that Svech is learning how to be more effective with the puck is a positive sign.
I wanted to share the excellent video below from MLive about Svechnikov’s journey to the NHL. It provides great insight into who he is as a person and the kind of life he leads. Give it a watch and I’ll put my thoughts on it below.
Like I said, it’s a great video. What struck me most was just how badly Svechnikov wants to be in the NHL. He said it two or three times. It’s all he’s thought about and it’s all he’s worked towards. And he’s worked hard through a very tough season in Grand Rapids. It was nice to see that along the way to achieving this dream, he takes time to work with kids in the community and teach them the subtleties of his game. It’s actually kind of inspiring.
He talks about how much he loves the game of hockey and that it’s not about the money (but really, c’mon, it’s always a little about the money) and important his family is to him. It sounds like he’s pretty close with his family, so it will be fun to see the two Svechnikov brothers in the league together (maybe as Red Wings? *wink* *wink* *nudge* *nudge*).
Finally, my favourite part of the video was listening to him try to teach that kid how he releases his wrist shot.
“Just squeeze this hand,” he says, “And then, like push on it”.
Hilarious. I’m sure there’s more to his shot than that and I hope we get to see it in tonight’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights. If you haven’t already, check out the WingsNation.com pre-game report for all the details on tonight’s game.