The Manitoba Moose have signed free agent forward Evgeny Svechnikov to a one-year, AHL contract for the 2021-22 season. While that may be surprising to many after his history in the NHL, there’s more to the story. Sportsnet contributor Ken Wiebe reports that Svechnikov will attend Winnipeg Jets training camp on a professional tryout and will be given an opportunity to earn a two-way NHL contract should he prove healthy enough.
Svechnikov, 24, was not tendered a qualifying offer from the Detroit Red Wings earlier this summer, making him an unrestricted free agent. That was a far fall for a player selected 19th overall in 2015, but a not totally unexpected one after so many injuries. The young forward has just 41 games of NHL experience under his belt, 21 of which came this past year, and has scored just five goals so far.
That doesn’t mean his career is over though. If Svechnikov can prove he’s fully healthy and ready to contribute, there’s no doubt that his talent level deserves an NHL contract. If he doesn’t earn that NHL deal and instead spends the year with the Moose, he’ll still be a very interesting player to watch. Should he stay healthy and productive, he’ll be an unrestricted free agent again next offseason looking for a new deal and new opportunity.