Evgeny Svechnikov, 23, has to be wondering where he stands in the Wings organization. He was called up and sat in the pressbox, with Blashill saying something like, "He's a pro. He can handle not playing." And after a few games - when he played less minutes than Givani Smith, he was demoted to Grand Rapids. I came into this season with hopes Svechnikov could establish himself as a legit top 9 powerforward. He's got size. He can work the boards and the net front. He's got good hands, stickhandling ability and passing ability. His main issue is skating. And major knee surgery didn't help him. So in the last few months, Yzerman has made a few moves that lead me to believe he doesn't see Svechnikov as a legit top 9 forward anytime in the near future. * Traded for Adam Erne, 23-year-old winger. * Kept Taro Hirose, 23-year-old winger, in the NHL over Svech. * Traded for Brendan Perlini, 23-year-old winger. * Traded for Robbie Fabbri, 23-year-old winger. Keep in mind that AA is 25. Mantha is 25. Bertuzzi is 24. Other prospects like Rasmussen, 20, Zadina, 19, and Smith, 21, could also be on that way in the next 12 months. Svechnikov's demise is partly his own doing. After a very good freshman year, he stepped backwards in his sophomore AHL campaign. And then, just when he needed to reassert himself, he blew up his knee and missed the season. But I thought he'd done enough in exhibition season to earn a spot on the team. Preseason leading scorers" Svech 2-2-4 in 53 minutes Hirose 1-3-4 in 103 minutes Veleno 0-3-3 in 88 minutes Erne 0-2-2 in 80 minutes. Ras 2-0-2 in 100 minutes Smith 1-1-2 in 62 minutes Zadina 0-1-1 in 91 minutes But what about his callup? Zero points. -1. 2 PIM. Nothing special in 8:20 a night. How about the underlying numbers? CF% Svech 49.09 Perlini 41.43 Hirose 45.27 Erne 45.0 Individual Shots/60 Svech 13,91 Perlini 9.31 Erne 7.92 Hirose 3.55 The numbers match what I saw with my own eyes. Svech, more than these other guys, has the ability to get the puck on net. I hope Yzerman hasn't given up on Svech. But if he has, I hope he finds away to get value for him. Because he's a top 9 forward, in my book. He's got the hands, the size and skill and IQ. They're good enough to make up for his skating issues.