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06-30-2013, 06:55 PM
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17. Pavel Buchnevich, Left Wing, Severstal (KHL)

Buchnevich had a quality season in Russia and in international play, despite suffering injuries during parts of the year. The obvious aspect of his game is his skill level. He has high-end puck possession skills, with top-of-the-line hands and hockey sense. He shows good offensive instincts, standing out through his reads and creative decisions. He can be a quality passer, although he is prone to the selfish play now and then. An NHL executive told me that he has the offensive ability to dominate, at times. His skating garners a mixed bag of reviews. One scout described it as average, with another saying he is very good, thanks to his impressive acceleration and ability to put defenders on their heels. Buchnevich's area of concern is his physicality. He is roughly average in height, but he needs to add major bulk. His style of play is not one of physical intimidation.

Ranking explanation: Adam Erne is a better skater with more physicality than Buchnevich, but the Severstal forward's puck skills, vision, and offensive instincts won out in the end. Erne has a better statistical record, as he notched 55 points in 64 games as a 16-year-old, with over a point per game this year in the QMJHL. Buchnevich has been a near point-per-game player in the Russian junior league the past two seasons, but there is a competition adjustment to be made. There are reasonable arguments for either player, but Buchnevich's strengths and upside make him the choice. Erne is perhaps more safe, and certainly skilled in his own right, but he does not have the potentially elite puck possession tools of Buchnevich.

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