The Top 25 Under 25 is a collaboration by members of the Mile High Hockey community. Eight writers and 320 readers ranked players under the age of 25 as of September 1, 2018 in the Colorado Avalanche organization. Each participant used their own metric of current ability and production against future projection to rank each player. Now, we’ll count down each of the 25 players ranked.
When Igor Shvyryov fell to the fifth round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, many believed it was because he had plans to stay in the KHL for the foreseeable future. Less than 11 months later, the young Russian had signed his entry-level contract with the Colorado Avalanche and he is now prepared to begin his North American professional hockey career. Shvyryov will come over and add some depth down the middle for the organization/ He should be a huge part of the Colorado Eagles lineup next season as they try to build a competitive AHL roster.
After watching him at a couple of prospect camps, Shvyryov is a kid that Avalanche fans should be getting pretty excited about. After beint ranked at No. 25 last summer, he’s made a huge jump in the rankings with the majority of the fans ranking him in the top-20 despite a less than impressive point total in the KHL last season.
Though he wasn’t able to produce offensively last year, the simply fact that Shvyryov played an entire season at center in the KHL as a teenager is a great sign. Players his age rarely get more than a handful of games in Russia’s top league, and even fewer get to play center - even if that’s the position they project to play long-term.
Since the numbers weren’t there last season, we can look to his time in the MHL when comparing Shvyryov to other Russians that have had success in the NHL.
U19 Production in the MHL
It’s hard to draw comparisons during his 18-year old season in the MHL as many NHL-caliber Russians make the jump to the CHL or even the KHL at this point. Since he is a later birth date in relation to the rest of his draft class, Shvyryov stayed in the MHL for most of his U19 season.
Seventy points in 40 games is an elite level of production. It’s even more impressive when you compare it to the 44 points in 38 games Artemi Panarin put up in the same league at the same age. Shvyryov produced at a 1.75 point per game pace while playing as a two-way center and winning over 56% of his faceoffs. That’s incredible.
Shvyryov is a very talented player, he is great with the puck, as incredible vision and has the potential to be a dynamic playmaker at the next level. All while proving he’s able to play a two-way game down the middle.
It might take a season, but Shvyryov is going to make an impact on the Avalanche in the not to distant future. He has the skill to be an NHLer and just needs some time under his belt to adapt to North America - both on and off the ice.
There is a very good chance we see a call-up from the Eagles at some point this season, but in the meantime, expect Shvyryov to be one of the more exciting players in Loveland.