Pavel Buchnevich made a bright start to the World Junior Championships with a pair of primary assists in Russia's 11-0 dismantling of Norway on Thursday.
Buchnevich, skating with Mikhail Grigorenko and Anton Slepyshev on Russia's go-to forward line, picked up the main helper on goals by Buffalo prospects Grigorenko and Nikita Zadorov in the first period.
Zadorov snapped a point shot past Norway goalie Henrik Haukeland after Buchnevich had gained the zone and fed the engaging defenseman a patient cross-ice pass. The 2013 third-round pick's neutral-zone feed sent Grigorenko on his way soon after for Russia's third tally of the game.
There are plenty of positives to take away for Buchnevich, albeit in a game Russia were expected to win comfortably. The Slepyshev-Grigorenko-
Buchnevich and Grigorenko, in particular, seem to have a good understanding and that is something that will only benefit Buchnevich as the tournament continues. Remaining group games against Switzerland, Finland and hosts Sweden will no doubt be far sterner examinations of the Russian side, but they will also be a far better indicator as to what Buchnevich is capable of.
So far, so good.