Name: Pavel Buchnevich
“Stood out in international competitions with his high skill level. Creative player who is fearless in all parts of the offensive zone. A smooth skater who is deceptively quick with his soft hands which allow him to get loose and/or set up linemates. Fearless in traffic and is great in one-on-one. A strong forechecker. The way he beats you is by coming out of a pack with the puck and using his lightning release to wrist it into the net before defensive players can react. As with all the Russian-based prospects, their final draft slottings are entirely tied to whether or not they are committed to crossing the pond and actually attempting to become NHLers. He was selected to the roster for the World Junior Under-18 Tournament in April.”
Coach Andrei Nazarov
"Buchnevich had a good season, but it was not excellent. He had a great desire to go on ice, but he didn't work enough for it in training. Desire is not enough to start playing. Let's hope that Pavel will understand it. I think that he has to play better than (Valeri) Nichushkin."
"Pavel Buchnevich is another who shone brightly before the home crowds. He might be physically undeveloped and indifferent to off-ice training, but wow, does he have a high-end skill set."
Top Shelf Prospects
Buchnevich is a terrific skater. He has very fast top end speed, excellent acceleration and great first step quickness. This makes him extremely dangerous off the rush, and he is not afraid to go wide on a defenceman and then cut to the net. He also has great agility, and good balance on his skates. Buchnevich could stand to add some weight to his frame but even with that, his balance and strength on the puck is good at the Under 18 level. It will need to be much better though for the pro game.
Buchnevich is able to play all three forward positions which is a major plus for any prospect. He’s a pure sniper, with a fantastic wrist shot and snap shot. They are both powerful, accurate, and feature quick releases. He also has a very good one timer. Buchnevich is often able to force defenders to give him space due to his skating and it as at this point he can unleash is shot on the rush. He has good stickhandling skills and protects the puck very well. He’s not afraid to go through traffic and take the puck right to the net in order to get chances. Buchnevich is a skilled playmaker as well, he is very creative and is willing to try things that most players wouldn’t have the skill level to dream about. He also is willing to work hard in the corners and digging for loose pucks.
Buchnevich’s defensive game is best termed a work in progress. He can often looked lost in the defensive zone as his positioning and fundamentals need a lot of work. He seems willing enough, but will need some major help in coaching before he can be a pro player.
Stylistically Buchnevich is similar to a Phil Kessel. However this is a stylistic comparison and not saying that he will become as good as Kessel is. Instead Buchnevich is a prospect with serious boom or bust potential. The upside to be a first line NHL goal scorer, (whatvever the position) is there, but the KHL factor and the defensive game may make Buchnevich fall in the ranks.
SEASON TEAM LEAGUE GP G A P PIM
2011-2012 CHEREPOVETS 2 RUSSIA-JR. 45 15 29 44 55
2012-2013 CHEREPOVETS RUSSIA 12 1 1 2
2012-2013 CHEREPOVETS 2 RUSSIA-JR. 24 8 15 23 36
"Of course giving Sather cap space is like giving teenagers whiskey and car keys." - SBOB "Watching Sather build a team is like watching a blind man with no fingers trying to put together an elaborate puzzle." - Shadowtron
"Used to be only Twinkies and cockroaches could survive a nuke. I'd add Habs to that. I'm convinced the CH stands for Club du Hypocrisy." - Gee Wally
High risk? Yeah... You don't know, who Buchnevich is...
There is risk all over this player.
You like him, and thats great, but realistically, why did he fall to the 65th pick? Russian factor? That's part of it. The other part is his game. His lack of drive has been talked about in nearly everything talked/written about him.
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.