The Arizona Coyotes acquired the Columbus Blue Jackets’ sixth-round pick for the 2019 NHL entry draft along with Jacob Graves for Ryan MacInnis. With that pick, the Coyotes drafted Russian forward Danil Savunov.
Team: SKA-Neva St. Petersburg
Regular Season Games Played: 42
Playoff Games Played: 9
Playoff Goals: 1
Playoff Assists: 6
When looking at international prospects, it is harder to find information on lesser-known prospects playing in foreign leagues like the VHL. But with all the information available it seems like Savunov has had a good season developing and growing as a player.
Despite playing in only 42 games, Savunov finished sixth on his team in both goals and points. For comparison, Kirill Petkov led the team with 20 goals and played in 50 games.
Although he didn’t get a lot of attention in North America, what little that came through was positive. Craig Morgan noted in a mailbag for The Athletic that both Savunov and fellow Russian prospect Alexander Daryin had good years.
Corey Pronman was even more positive in his assessment. In his article “Pronman: Biggest risers from the 2019 NHL Draft” Savunov was one of two Coyotes prospects to be featured. Pronman wrote:
He’s been productive versus men this season in Russia’s second division for SKA and shown more skill than I thought he had. I don’t think he has elite skill by any means, but it’s good; and he has very good offensive instincts.
It remains to be seen if Savunov will make it to the NHL. As a sixth-round pick, the odds are against him, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Until then he seems to be making the right moves and developing into a very good hockey player.