With the 19th overall pick (although the 18th actual pick, due to Arizona forfeiting their original first-round selection), the Nashville Predators selected Fyodor Svechkov from Lada Togliatti of the Russian VHL.
This season the 6’0” forward skated in 38 VHL games (Russia’s second-tier league), scoring five goals and 15 points, as well as 15 MHL games (the Russian junior league), scoring four goals and 15 points.
In seven games for Russia at the U18 World Junior Championship, Svechkov finished fourth on the team in scoring with four goals and ten points total.
Svechkov—ranked 21st on my final draft board—is an extremely mature player who lacks elite skill. He’s an adept passer and moves well with the puck in transition but can rush his own passes from time to time. His skating mechanics grade out as NHL-average and he doesn’t have elite separating speed, but he hunts down pucks so well and can get creative in how he out-muscles defenders in one-on-one battles. At 18 years old, he’s got an excellent understanding of the defensive side of the game too.
Svechkov is a product of the SKA St. Petersburg organization alongside Iaroslav Askarov.
All statistics are courtesy of eliteprospects.com.