Report: Pavel Buchnevich Staying in Russia Another Year

Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Claus Andersen/Getty Images

The Severstal Cherepovets’ team website announced today that Pavel Buchnevich has decided to stay in the KHL for the 2015/16 season. Buchnevich, who just turned 20 years old last month, is coming off an impressive campaign in which he registered 13 goals and 17 assists in 48 games. His 30 points were the third-most all-time by a junior-aged player in the KHL.

Many (including myself) consider Buchnevich to be the Rangers’ top prospect. ESPN’s Corey Pronman placed the Russian winger 25th on his preseason Top 100, bumping that ranking up to 15th for his midseason update.

I kept track of Buchnevich’s splits versus playoff and non-playoff teams after seeing Pronman raise some concerns over the KHL’s quality of competition in light of rapid expansion. There was definitely a bit of a lopsided split, so it will be interesting to monitor Buchnevich’s progress in this area next season.

Today’s news probably comes as at least a mild surprise to most, as Buchnevich figured to push for an NHL roster spot in training camp. It’s very possible this affects management’s offseason plans. Had he earned a spot, he would have represented a cheap source of secondary scoring.

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