Future Ranger: Pavel Buchnevich

The Rangers drafted Pavel Buchnevich in the third round of the 2013 NHL draft. (Photo credited to Bill Wippert/Getty Images)

Get excited Rangers fans! The Blueshirts drafted a talented player in Pavel Buchnevich back in 2013. Pavel is only 19 years old and is almost ready to take the next step and tear it up in North America.

It is now a little over a year since the Russian born winger was drafted by New York in the third round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft (yes that’s right, the same year AND ROUND that we drafted Anthony Duclair), and boy did the Rangers steal quite the promising player. Somehow, the Rangers managed to pick the 11th ranked international prospect 75th overall…most likely it was the “Russian Factor” that scared other teams away.

Let’s take a look at Buchnevich’s scouting report from June of last year.

“His effort every shift is up in the air and only seems to care when he has the puck on his stick in the offensive zone. He’s a player a GM might throw a mid-to-late round pick on him to see if he pans out.” (Shawn Reznik, THW)

 

Well that’s a a little off-putting.

“His defensive play and positioning is almost nonexistent.” (Shawn Reznik, THW)

Ok…well that explains why New York managed to draft him so late, even though he is described as having “Top-End” potential. That’s the “Russian Factor” for you. Oh well, the Rangers aren’t afraid of taking in Russians (Alexei Kovalev, Pavel Bure, Nikolai Zherdev, Artem Anisimov, and Sergei Zubov to name a few).

As I said before, it is now a year past the drafting of Pavel Buchnevich and the Rangers are looking very smart. But why? Well, Buchnevich has been tearing it up in the KHL. In fact, he has tallied 9 points in 11 games! Remember…he’s only nineteen. Furthermore, after being selected by the NYR, Pavel has been noted for his excellent composure, vision and his speed.

Buchnevich shines at the 2012-2013 WJC-18 tournament (photo credited to Andreas Hillergren/Associated Press)

 

Now let’s see the updated intel on arguably the Rangers best prospect to date.

“He can handle the puck with ease and has good hands in his role as a playmaking forward. Sometimes compared to Alexander Semin.” -As reported by Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com (August 2014)

I don’t know about you, but this comment alone gets me even more excited about the potential that Buchnevich brings to the table. There is only one glaring question that remains. When can we see Pavel play at the professional level in the North America? An accurate prediction for his venture to the States would be around 2015-2016.

To conclude, after standing out in international play and developing immensely since the draft, Pavel Buchnevich will most definitely prove those 2013 reports wrong…as a matter of fact, he probably already has. However, there is no way of truly telling that until he makes the transition to the NHL. But when he does, He will have a whole bunch of teams turning heads.

Try not to drool while watching this highlight:

[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBBQYKve50A”][youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bDgRd8zkSE&w=560&h=315][/su_youtube]