The Detroit Red Wings may not be playing in the 24-team tournament right now, but that doesn’t mean they front office isn’t active. Detroit has 12 restricted free agents to deal with during their offseason. Make that 11 as the team announced they have signed right wing Evgeny Svechnikov to a one-year extension. No terms were announced.
The 23-year-old just completed his entry-level contract and has the potential to develop into a solid player for the Red Wings although time is running out. Svechnikov had an impressive rookie year in the AHL during the 2016-17 season when he tallied 20 goals and 51 points for the Grand Rapids Griffins. The 6-foot-3 forward suffered a knee injury the following year and required ACL surgery to repair the damage. He hasn’t been the same since, scoring just 18 goals and 48 assists over the next two seasons in 108 AHL games. He did appear in four games for Detroit this season and 20 NHL games overall, but this year is likely going to be a key year for Svechnikov, who must prove he’s fully healthy and can contribute to Detroit’s lineup.
One thought is that Detroit may have signed him early in hopes they can find a European team to loan him to for the coming months until NHL training camps get underway, likely in mid-November. Svechnikov, the older brother of Carolina Hurricanes’ forward Andrei Svechnikov, was a first-round pick for Detroit back in 2015.