New York Rangers Prospect Pavel Buchnevich Flourishing in KHL


Pavel Buchnevich #19 of Team Russia skates against Julius Bergman #7 of Team Sweden during a semi-final game in the 2015 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship at the Air Canada Centre on January 4, 2015 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Team Russia defeated Team Sweden 4-2 to advance to the gold medal game against Canada.

(Jan. 3, 2015 – Source: Claus Andersen/Getty Images North America)

New York Rangers selected Pavel Buchnevich in the 3rd round, with the 75th pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, the team knew the Russian forward would experience some difficulties adjusting to the smaller NHL style of play; however, Buchnevich has done all he can to provide Rangers fans with a look into the future.

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Fans haven’t had the pleasure of viewing Buchnevich as much as other New York Rangers prospects due to less accessibility. He has been put in the spotlight during the World Juniors in 2013 and 2014, but besides that he has been in the KHL with Severstal Cherepovets.

Buchnevich has been known to be a sniper and his ability to shoot the puck and with Severstal Buchnevich he has added a playmaking attribute to his game. Buchnevich has put up 6 goals and 8 assists with a rather poor Severstal team but despite the team’s spot in the standings (last in the West and 3rd last in the league), Buchnevich has found a way to create goals for his team.

During Severstal’s 1st goal of the game in this clip, we see the adapted playmaker that Buchnevich has become. He gets the puck on the low wall and shows great vision and accuracy to get the puck to the set-up man in the slot for the easy goal.

Buchnevich is still pulling off crazy shots too. The preceding clip, at around the 2:00 mark, shows Pavel making some quick dekes followed by a LONG wrister that beats the goaltender.

Buchnevich’s shot could lead to a deadly set-up on the powerplay. Severstal has experimented with this and it has worked. Buchnevich strikes on the man advantage right at the start of the video.

Another good look at Buchnevich’s passing skills here. Again he is alone down low behind the net. This time, he finds the point man through some traffic. Starts at around the 2:00 mark.

Buchnevich has yet to make his mark on North America, besides playing in Toronto and Montreal for the 2014 World Juniors. If he can hold the high upside that he is showcasing in the KHL back here on the smaller ice in the NHL or AHL, he will have a successful career when he is comfortable to make the trip.

A year, or half-year, in the AHL, will be a helping hand for Buchnevich. He experienced a slight regression in point production at the WJC when it moved to Canada. He won’t have the large ice in the KHL at the NHL or AHL level, so it may be for the best to give him games in the minors to settle down and get used to the new ice.

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