In a blowout 7-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night, there was one bright spot in the game when Pavel Buchnevich scored his 100th career goal.
Buchnevich grew up in an athletic family as his mother, Yelena Razumova was a competitive skier while his father coached youth soccer.
Buchnevich played his youth hockey in his hometown of Cherepovets, starting with Almaz Cherepovets of the Junior Hockey League before signing a three-year contract with Severstal Cherepovets during the 2012-13 season.
Buchnevich was ranked 10th among International skaters heading into the 2013 NHL Entry Draft and was drafted in the third round (75th overall) by the New York Rangers but chose to remain with the KHL because he didn’t feel like he was ready to make the transition to North America right away.
After three more years in Russia, Buchnevich signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Rangers on May 13, 2016.
Following the signing, Buchnevich attended the Rangers development camp and participated in the 2016 Traverse City Prospects Tournament representing the Rangers.
As he got used to living in North America, Buchnevich requested that he be placed with an English-speaking family to help him learn the language faster.
Buchnevich made the Rangers opening night roster for the 2016-17 season and made his NHL debut on October 13, 2016, playing on the first line alongside Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider and recorded his first NHL point, an assist, the same night.
Following his debut, Buchnevich started having back spasms that caused him to miss the rest of the Rangers October schedule. However, when he returned to the lineup on November 5, 2016, against the Boston Bruins, he scored his first NHL goal.
Buchnevich then missed another long stretch of time due to back spasms, this time from November 2016 to early January 2017.
Once he was medically cleared to play, the Rangers assigned Buchnevich to the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League for a four-game conditioning stint.
Buchnevich returned to the Rangers lineup on January 13, 2017, and recorded five points in three games playing alongside Zibanejad and Rick Nash before being returned to the AHL for one game at the end of February.
In his second season in the NHL with Alain Vigneault behind the Rangers bench, Buchnevich was pushed down to the fourth line in favor of older, more experienced players and played alongside Cristoval “Boo” Nieves and Michael Grabner.
During the first few games of the 2017-18 season, Buchnevich’s line combined for four goals and seven points. By the end of November, Buchnevich had tallied 20 points in the first 25 games of the season.
By February 2, 2018, Buchnevich had a career-high 32 points in 50 games played before sustaining an upper-body injury that kept him out until February 16.
Prior to the 2018-19 season, the Rangers hired David Quinn as head coach and he was tougher on Buchnevich, moving him around the lineup and even making him a healthy scratch for back to back games in early October because Buchnevich needed to “play better” in order to reclaim his spot in the Rangers lineup.
Upon his return to the lineup, Buchnevich was fired up and came out of the gates with nine points in 14 games played before he sustained a broken thumb on November 12, 2018, that was projected to keep him out of the lineup for 4-6 weeks.
Once he returned to the lineup, Buchnevich was once again shuffled through the Rangers lineup, including spending seven games as a right-wing on the fourth line, and was scratched once again by coach Quinn on January 29, 2019, as he once again stated that Buchnevich needed to “play better” despite finishing the season with a career-high 21 goals and 38 points in 64 games played.
On July 26, 2019, Buchnevich agreed to a two-year, $6.5 million contract extension to stay with the Rangers.
In the 2019-20 season, Buchnevich started the season on the first line with Artemi Panarin and Zibanejad, and in their first two games together, the three of them combined for 14 points. After Zibanejad was injured in late October, Buchnevich was moved to a line with Kreider and Filip Chytil.
By November 11, 2019, Buchnevich had tied Ryan Strome for the team lead in points with 11. Once Zibanejad returned to the lineup in late November, Buchnevich went back to his original line, and by December, his production had declined and he went nine games without recording a point.
Then on February 23, 2020, Buchnevich, along with teammate Igor Shesterkin, were involved in a car accident. Shesterkin was driving a 2019 Porsche southbound on Ocean Avenue near Avenue Z around 8:30 p.m. when a 2017 Honda sedan driven by a Connecticut man made an illegal U-turn in front of their vehicle. The car that the two Rangers players were in struck the sedan and a parked SUV.
Buchnevich didn’t suffer any significant physical injuries as a result of the crash but was pretty shaken up and missed two games to recover from the trauma of the accident while Shesterkin sustained a non-displaced rib fracture.
About three weeks later, the NHL was shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic and Buchnevich finished the season with career highs in assists and points but was five goals away from a new career-high in that category.
In the 2020-21 season, Buchnevich was placed on the NHL’s COVID protocol list on March 15, 2021, but only missed two games. Then on April 17, he recorded his first career hat trick in a 6-3 victory over the rival New Jersey Devils.
Buchnevich finished the season with a career-high 48 points in 54 games played.
Over the offseason, Buchnevich became a restricted free agent and engaged in contract talks with the Rangers but the two sides were unable to come to terms on a new deal, so on July 23, 2021, Buchnevich was traded to the Blues for Sammy Blais and a 2022 second-round draft pick.
A few days after the trade, the Blues and Buchnevich came to an agreement on a four-year, $23.2 million contract.
So far this season, with under 20 games remaining, Buchnevich has 21 goals and 29 assists for 50 points in 55 games played.
At only 26-years-old, Buchnevich likely has a hundred more goals left in him.