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Red Wings of Tomorrow: Dimitri Buchelnikov

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Red Wings of Tomorrow is assessing every prospect in the Detroit Red Wings system and what they are projecting to be in the future. We’ll be looking at the strengths and weaknesses of their game, as well as what the future holds for them as they advance through the Detroit organization. Today, we look at left wing Dimitri Buchelnikov.

Dimitri Buchelnikov

Position: Left Wing

How Acquired: 52nd overall pick (2nd round) in the 2022 NHL Draft

2021-22 Stats: (GP-G-A-Pts) 56-41-34-75 (MHL)

Contract Status: Unsigned

Anticipated 2022-23 Team: SKA-1946 (MHL)

Prospect Synopsis

Dimitri Buchelnikov has a release and sniping ability that scouts drool over. Potting 41 goals in the MHL speaks to that. The league itself isn’t exactly an upper tier, but it’s a strong start for a scorer Detroit certainly could benefit from down the road.

The video on Buchelnikov was enough for Detroit’s director of amateur scouting, Kris Draper.

“Wasn’t allowed over there,” Draper said about scouting in person. “(European Scout) Nikolai (Vakourov) saw him quite a bit. As the second half of the season came on, really started to talk to Nikolai and Dimitri started producing, scoring, putting up good numbers.”

Meanwhile there’s this recent work from the 18-year-old:

If you watch the clip above, the Red Wings have a player who won’t be afraid to shoot or have issues putting the puck on net. The only issue? Will his game translate as he faces stiffer competition?

“We think we got a very skilled, very smart hockey player,” Draper said.

Estimated Time of Arrival in Detroit

Playing in the MHL indicates that Buchelnikov hasn’t faced the push back he’ll get in other leagues as his career ascends, but just a glance at what he’s capable of in the short clips or highlight reels shows why Detroit drafted him.

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Where he fits, then, in the arrival timeline depends on where Detroit lets him play. Russia will be his likely course for at least another year, and a crack at a KHL lineup would begin giving some indication of where he’s at. On the other hand, if he tears it up in the MHL again, it’s evident that he absolutely needs a greater challenge.

North American ice seems at least two seasons away, but the excitement that goes with it doesn’t seem exaggerated. Buchelnikov has the raw abilities to be a true talent. Similar to some of the other players who have made their mark in Detroit, it will come down to patience, proper development, and time.

Beyond that, Draper said he’s a good kid that could do good things for the organization.

“He just loves to play hockey,” Draper said. “That’s what we liked about him. When we were looking at it, we just kind of felt with what we did, how we talked, how we evaluated where he was, he was there on the list because of how he played.”

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