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Red Wings Prospect Buchelnikov Named Top Forward of Sochi Tournament

Buchelnikov ended up averaging a point per game in the tournament

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Dmitri Buchelnikov, Red Wings prospect
Red Wings prospect Dmitri Buchelnikov is the top forward of the Sochi KHL tourney.

Count Dmitri Buchelnikov among the Detroit Red Wings propsects who are currently turning heads in the hockeyworld.

Several pieces of the future for Detroit Red Wings are currently on display in Edmonton at the IIHF World Junior Championship. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world in Europe, Buchelnikov was making a big splash as well.

Dmitry Buchelnikov, taken 52nd overall by Detroit in the 2022 NHL entry draft, was earning the honor as top forward at the Sochi KHL preseason tournament. He was playing for the Russian national under-25 squad. Buchelnikov was posting 3-2-5 totals from five games to finish third overall in tournament scoring.

Although the Russian U25 national team wound up finishing fourth with a 2-3-0 record in the six-team event, Buchelnikov was averaging a point per game. Both of his goals wold prove to be game-winning tallies. The 18-year-old forward was netting winners in victories over Avangard Omsek and Sochi.

As much as they admire his skill level, it was Buchelnikov’s passion for the game that was a big selling point in Detroit’s decision to select him with the club’s second pick in the second round of the draft.

Buchelnikov’s Passion For Game A Selling Point

“We really liked Dmitri,” Red Wings director of amateur scouting Kris Draper said. “(Nikolai Vakourov, the club’s Russian scout) did a lot of homework on him. Things came back with a real character kid and just a kid that really enjoys playing the game.

“When you watch video of him, you can kind of tell he’s having fun out there. That’s something you love to see. He’s somebody who’s skilled and has sense and shows a lot of passion to play the game.”

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It’s worth noting that this was a preseason tournament and many clubs were experimenting with their lineups. That being the case, Buchelnikov, a teenager, was still putting up big numbers against more experienced pros.

Last season, playing for SKA St. Petersburg in the MHL (Russian Junior League), Buchelnikov ended up second in the league scoring race with 31-43-75 totals in 56 games.