2018 NHL Draft Profiles: Who goes at #2, Svechnikov or Zadina?

The Argument for #2

Knowing that the #1 spot is locked up by Rasmus Dahlin in this upcoming draft, the question is who goes number 2? Andrei Svechnikov of the Barrie Colts in the Ontario Hockey League, or Filip Zadina of the Halifax Mooseheads in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Player Overview

Andrei Svechnikov has been having himself quite a year for the Colts. Posting a 33-29-66 stat line in 41 games with a +26 rating. At 6’3, 187 lbs and about to turn 18, Svechnikov is going to be a mean force in the NHL if he packs on more muscle. Many analysts have Svechnikov going 2nd in this year’s draft and rightfully so. He has developed such an all-around game it’s a shame that he isn’t mainly a center. In Barrie, Svechnikov is used on the PK a lot. He rarely misses an assignment and is strong on the forecheck. Being a left-handed shot, he finds a place on the power play opposite of where Ovechkin would place himself on the ice. That being said, Svechnikov’s game is exactly where it needs to be to excel and adjust to the National Hockey League.

Filip Zadina (6’1, 192lbs) is someone who you don’t want to leave open below the circles. He’ll make you pay 10-fold. His shot is out of this world. This season for the Mooseheads, Zadina is sporting a 42-37-79 in 55 games. He’s quickly adjusting to the North American game because he played in the Czech Republic all last year for HC Dynamo Pardubice. Though he’s defensively sound, his offense is where his game excels with strong puck skills and a knack for scoring. Zadina with open space is a recipe for disaster. Even if you put a body on him, you might still have a bad time defending him. See this World Junior Championship highlight reel for example.

Around the 2:40 mark is a great example of how he can create his own scoring chances. He’s the kind of player that makes the players around him better.

Personal Thoughts

I believe that it’s going to come down to who needs what. Looking at (tankathon.com/nhl), the bottom 3 teams with the highest chance at the top 3 are Buffalo at 1, Arizona at 2, and Vancouver at 3. Knowing that Buffalo should take Dahlin, it’s all about who would complement each player more. Now the Coyotes are stacked with young talent. Clayton Keller, Christian Dvorak, Max Domi, Jakob Chychrun, and Christian Fischer. If they can add another young guy like Svechnikov, they can be a dangerous team in the west. I believe that the young Russian can be the missing catalyst to their offense if they would like to go a young route. Their forward lines would go as follows:

Keller-Stepan-Svechnikov (Panik gets demoted to 4th line)

Domi-Dvorak- Fischer (Fischer gets bumped up one, while Perlini takes his place)

Archibald-Hamilton-Perlini (see above)

Martinook-Richardson (assuming he resigns with ARI)-Panik (Cousins is a healthy scratch)

lines courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com

As for Zadina going to Vancouver… something immediately pops into my head.

Zadina-Horvat-Boeser

Goodness gracious this line would be so dominant on the score sheet assuming Boeser comes back from injury 100%. Now the Canucks have a lot of question marks in their lineup starting with the Sedin twins. They are going to be 38 this year and are declining. The last 3 years Henrik had 55 points in 74 games (2015-16), 50 in 82 games (2016-17), and has 43 in 71 games so far this season (2017-18). Daniel had 61 points in 82 games in 2015-16, 44 in 82 games (2016-17), and has 47 points through 70 games this season (2017-18). They don’t have many years left and their shoes are going to be hard to fill, but Zadina and Boeser seem like a good place to start.

Final Verdict

Whoever gets the number 2 pick honestly can’t go wrong with either if they pick one of them. And I don’t see a team pass up these two. But I’d really enjoy watching Keller and Svechnikov as well as Zadina and Boeser together on the ice. There’s too much talent in one place not to sit back and enjoy it.

Next up is the rest of the Top 10.

(picture courtesy of NHL.com)

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