Detroit Red Wings draft pick Dmitri Buchelnikov couldn’t have been clearer – he doesn’t want to leave SKA.
SKA St. Petersburg, leaders in the KHL standings, made a little bit of noise around the hockey world recently when they loaned promising teenaged forward Matvei Michkov to KHL rivals Sochi.
Expectations are that Michkov will be a high lottery pick in the 2023 NHL entry draft. But on a loaded SKA roster, he simply wasn’t getting any ice time.
— Hockey News Hub (@HockeyNewsHub) December 16, 2022
Buchelnikov, selected 53rd overall in the 2022 draft by the Red Wings, is encountering similar issues. Playing just 10 games for SKA, he’s showing 1-1-2 numbers. However, he’s expressing no desire to move elsewhere in order to garner more ice time.
Buchelnikov Has No Desire To Move
“Didn’t think about it,” Buchelnikov told Sport-Express.ru about the chance to go elsewhere on loan. “I always wanted to get into SKA. That’s why I joined the club three years ago. All my thoughts are only about SKA.”
Buchelnikov has spent much of the season with SKA-Neva St. Petersburg of the VHL, the Russian Second Division. There’s he’s displaying stellar 11-9-20 numbers in 18 games. But he only has eyes for SKA.
“I live in dreams about it,” Buchelnikov said. “But now I try to make the most of every day. Of course, I would like to return to the KHL as soon as possible. I will be extremely happy about this.”
Seeing action in his first KHL games was cause to celebrate for Buchelnikov, who recently was signing a contract to stay with SKA through 2025. However, his ultimate objective is to become a regular in Russia’s top league.
“The debut in the KHL is a pleasant event,” Buchelnikov said. “Like the debut in the VHL. I’m very happy about it, but I can’t stop.
“After a pause, you need to gather even more and move forward. I have to prove that I can perform at a high level.”