There appears to be a potential bottom six NHLer there, but it’s a matter of if and when he makes the jump.
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September 2019 — A speedy centre, Svetlakov’s career trajectory seems to have stagnated since his sixth-round selection in the 2017 draft. Entering the final year of his contract with CSKA Moskva, Svetkalov will be looking to establish himself as a legitimate impact player at the KHL level this season. If he does, he’ll most likely have an NHL contract from Minnesota on the table. If he can’t, it’s difficult to imagine a scenario where he ever comes over to North America. He is is off to a decent start to his 2019-20, registering one point in his first four games and clocking in with a top skating speed of 37.6 kilometres-per-hour with the KHL’s recently unveiled player-tracking technology. For comparison, Connor McDavid’s top in-game speed has been measured at a little over 40 km/hr. At this point, it’s unlikely that Svetlakov ever sees an NHL contract, and if he does, the extent of his impact won’t be more than as a bottom-six player. Svetlakov’s NHL rights will expire when he turns 27, giving the Wild four more years to see what kind of player they have on their hands. Sam Happi
April 2019 – The Russian center has had a third consecutive season of almost identical production at the KHL level. With slightly more time in the KHL, his production increased accordingly but stayed relatively stagnant on a per-game rate. He again spent time in the VHL, Russian second-tier league, this season as he wasn’t commanding ice-time with CSKA Moscow. With the ceiling of a bottom-six forward on an NHL roster, the urge to get Svetlakov over to North America hasn’t grown much. His contract, like teammate and fellow Wild prospect Kirill Kaprizov, runs through next season and he will likely stay for the duration of it. With no real offensive upside and no sign of him coming over to the NHL, his fantasy upside is negligent as he may end up staying in Russia. Tony Ferrari
April 2018 – A great value pick in the 2017 draft, Svetlakov essentially matched his production from last year and earned himself a spot on Russia’s 2nd national team. He has been relatively cool in the playoffs this year with just one assist as Moscow competes for a Gagarin Cup against Ak Bars Kazan. Svetlakov went without a shot on goal on November 29th, but has since seen his ice time slashed, spent a chunk of time in the VHL, and remains under contract until 2020 similar to his teammate Kirill Kaprizov. Will Scouch
June 2017 – This is an intriguing pick. D+3 picks aren’t common, but names like Viktor Arvidsson have managed to work out well. In the sixth round, all bets are off, and Minnesota is taking a calculated gamble taking the skilled center from Moscow. He’s a crafty playmaker who will get to the net and use his weight to his advantage. He has the benefit of scoring almost half a point per game in the KHL, commonly known as the most difficult league outside of the NHL, so his trajectory should be positive over the long term.
His contract with Moscow expires in 2020, but it’s entirely possible that he leaves the team early if a spot in the NHL can be ensured. It may not be next year, but he could be seen in a Wild jersey relatively soon if he continues to develop. Will Scouch