Last year, he won the voting as the top forward participating in the tournmaent. This year, it was also Buchelnikov’s unique skill set that was earning him another prize.
They held a fun little skills competition shootout after the game in Sochi with players from both teams.
Russia U23 #LGRW Dmitri Buchelnikov put on a show – winning the event. 👊
Here's all his attempts. 😮 pic.twitter.com/xUnQMLRD7I
— Hockey News Hub (@HockeyNewsHub) August 3, 2023
Friday, they held the shootout competition at the event. Similar to the NHL All-Star Game shootout competition, the value is as much in the delivery and creativity as it is in the outcome.
In the former sense, Buchelnikov won going away. The player chosen 52nd overall by the Red Wings in the 2022 NHL entry draft put on a clinic of unique shootout moves.
Buchelnikov Wows Them
On his first attempt, Buchelnikov went down on all fours as he was nearing the net. Pushing the puck to the left with his right glove, he wound up tucking a backhander in for a goal.
Next, he would flip the puck upward while splitting the faceoff circles, swatting the puck goalward while it was in mid air. Buchelnikov’s third shootout attempt saw him lift the puck up and carry it on the blade his stick, executing four 360-degree spins while racing to the net. Coming out of the fourth spin, he whipped the puck goalward.
On attempt No. 4, Buchelnikov would flip the puck up in the air, turn his stick around in his hands and swing at the puck baseball style. Unfortunately, much like a Detroit Tigers hitter, the Red Wings prospect would swing and miss. The next attempt was over qiuckly. Turning his back to the net at the blueline, the 19-year-old right winger scooped the puck uo with his blade, lofting a high shot that went right on goal when it eventually came down from the arena rafters.
For his final shot, Buchelnikov was opting to double down on hockey sticks. Carrying a stick in each hand, he would pass the puck back and forth. Closing in on goal and tossing away the stick in his left hand, Buchelnikov wound up roofing a snap shot on the glove side.
A panel of judges including Russian figure skater Alina Zagitova, the 2018 Olympic gold medal winner and 2019 world champion, were awarding Buchelnikov with the trophy as the winner of the competition.
Buchelnikov’s 2023-24 Destination Still Uncertain
The Detroit draftee is playing for Russia’s Under-23 squad in the Sochi tournament. His club for the 2023-24 season remains uncertain. He’s entering the second year of a three-year deal with SKA St. Petersburg, one of the KHL’s top teams.
There’s been some speculation suggesting that SKA would prefer to be loaning Buchelnikov to another KHL club. They’d prefer he was playing somewhere where he’d be getting more ice time.