Detroit Red Wings waive former first-round pick Evgeny Svechnikov

Detroit Free Press

Helene St. James
| Detroit Free Press

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NHL teams generally use waivers the day before rosters are due to facilitate assigning minor league players to AHL teams.

The Detroit Red Wings did that Monday — but also used it to expose a former first-round pick.

Among the names on the Wings’ waiver list Monday was Evgeny Svechnikov, who in the five-plus years since he was selected at 20th overall in 2015 has not been able to gain a foothold at the NHL level.

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The other players waived in advance of needing to trim the roster to 23 men by Tuesday are Brian Lashoff, Dominic Turgeon, Turner Elson, Dylan McIlrath, Joe Hicketts, Calvin Rickard and Kevin Boyle.

Svechnikov, 24, has endured a number of setbacks in recent years. He practiced Monday for the first time since leaving the Jan. 5 scrimmage with an apparent injury to his right arm.

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In September 2018, he suffered a knee injury that ended up sidelining him the entire season. He appeared in just four games with the Wings last season, producing no points, and otherwise spent the season with the Grand Rapids Griffins, where he had 11 goals and 14 assists in 51 games.

In 20 career NHL games, Svechnikov has two goals and two assists. He is on a one-year, $874,125 contract, which could appeal to a team hoping a change of scenery will spark Svechnikov.

It is a surprise general manager Steve Yzerman would risk losing Svechnikov for nothing so soon in camp. Because of the pandemic, teams can carry 23 players, instead of the usual 21. 

If Svechnikov clears waivers, he can be assigned to the Griffins — or to the Wings’ taxi squad.

Contact Helene St. James at Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from AmazonBarnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail. 

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