Category Archives: Junior Hockey


All-Star Week in the KHL and its various other leagues is upon us, and starting tomorrow all eyes turn to the Bashkir capital city of Ufa, where this year’s festivities are taking place.  Read on, for a look at what is planned (and what has already happened)!

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Podium! Russia Takes Bronze at the U18 Women’s Worlds


The Russian players and coaches celebrate after the bronze medal game.  (Image Source)

Another year of the IIHF Under-18 Women’s World Championship is now behind us, and for the third straight tournament it was the United States who claimed gold, this time via a 3-1 victory over Canada in the final in the Czech Republic.  As for Team Russia, they did just fine as well, taking home their second bronze medal in three years.  When we checked in with the tournament last week, the group stage had just wrapped up, with Russia third in Group A; read on, to for a recap of the medal round and some post-tournament thoughts!

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To the Quarterfinals: The U18 Women’s Worlds


Valeriya Merkusheva has been the key to Russia’s success at the 2017 U18 Women’s Worlds so far.  (Image Source)

We are through the group stage at the Under-18 Women’s World Championship, and Russia enters the quarterfinal round with a record of one win and two losses — an acceptable mark given the opposition.  Read on, as we take a closer look at what has transpired so far!

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World Junior Thoughts


Denis Guryanov scores against Sweden to secure the bronze medal for Team Russia. (Image Source)

The 2017 World Junior Championship is a few days in the past now — time enough to have digested matters and come up with some thoughts.  The United States prevailed in the end, winning a truly fantastic gold medal game 5-4 in a shootout over Team Canada.  As for Russia, coach Valery Bragin’s youngsters could console themselves with the bronze medal after overcoming an excellent Swedish team in the third-place game.  Read on, for some thoughts and comments on Team Russia’s tournament as a whole.

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A Walk Through the KHL: Dec. 5th, 2016


Metallurg Novokuznetsk’s Andrei Kareyev, who is beginning to make something of a name for himself!  (Image Source)

Here we are with another week’s worth of news tidbits from around the KHL, including what became of the water bottle in the now-famous clip we discussed last week!  So read on for that story, a (possibly) returning KHL star, and some other bits and pieces like that…

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Home Again


Valery Nichushkin. (Image Source)

Apart from the World Cup,  the big Russian hockey news this week, quite clearly, was the decision of young Dallas Stars prospect Valery Nichushkin to sign a two-year deal with CSKA Moscow after three seasons in Texas.  It is something of a shocking move; the young man from Chelyabinsk was taken tenth overall in the 2013 NHL draft, joined the Stars that autumn, and put up a decent rookie season line of 74 gp, 14-20-34 (plus 6gp, 1-1-2 in the playoffs) despite being only 18 years old.  So what happened, and what next?  Read on, for some admittedly half-baked thoughts on Nichushkin and the issue of young players from overseas in the NHL…

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Junior Hockey!


Loko Yaroslavl (in red) battle Chaika Nizhny Novgorod during the opening game of the 2016-17 MHL season on Sunday. (Image Source)

As we head into September, the Russian hockey calendar is beginning to fill up with meaningful games at all levels.  The KHL is well underway, of course, and this weekend the Women’s Hockey League regular season kicked off as well.  On Sunday, it was the turn of the MHL (Молодежная Хоккейная Лига — “Youth Hockey League”), home of the country’s top-level junior-age boys’ squads.  The curtain-raiser, as is traditional, featured last season’s Kharlamov Cup finalists; the 2016-17 opener saw Chaika Nizhny Novgorod, riding a resolute performance by goalie Andrei Sukhanov, come away with a 2-1 shootout victory over defending champions Loko Yaroslavl.  The entire league swung into action on Monday, so read on for a bit of a look at how it all works (and a map).

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Some News Notes: Schedules & the Like


Dynamo vs. Spartak at the Arkady Chernyshyov Memorial Tournament last week. (Image Source)

Time to take a quick break from the previews in order to get a little bit of news out of the way.  Schedules and full team lineups are now out for several different Russian leagues, and we have KHL pre-season hockey to talk about as well.  Unfortunately, not all of the pre-season goings-on have been of the good variety… read on!

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Tournament Time


Goalmouth action in Nizhny Novgorod between Torpedo (in blue) and Dinamo Riga on Monday at the Cup of the Governor of Nizhegorod Oblast tournament. (Image Source)

KHL exhibition hockey is well underway for 2016-17 at this point, and we are about to embark on one of the more interesting parts of the league’s calendar: namely, the big pre-season tournaments.  There are several such competitions taking place between now and the beginning of the regular season on August 22nd, so read on, and we’ll take a look at the upcoming schedule! Read the rest of this entry

Quick KHL Draft Note


Veniamin Baranov of Dynamo St. Petersburg. (Image Source)

The full run-down on the past week’s Russian hockey news is delayed until tomorrow, but in the meantime here’s a quick bit on one notable annual event that happened today:

With the World Championship now finished, attention switches back to the KHL, and its off-season doings.  The league held its annual entry draft on Monday (possibly the last such event, as there is much talk of finding a different way to get prospects to teams beginning next year).  Admiral Vladivostok held the first overall pick, and used it on defenceman Veniamin Baranov, from Dynamo St. Petersburg ’99 (The Dynamo St. Petersburg club’s Under-17 squad).  Baranov, who turned 17 in January, scored 4-14-18 in 28 games for the Dynamo U17s, so there seems to be some play-making ability there.  He was also one of the “replacement” players on the Russian team at this year’s Under-18 World Championship in the United States, where he recorded one assist in four games.

The rest of the top three at today’s draft: with the second pick, Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg selected Alexander Alemastsev, an offensively-gifted forward who scored 28-16-44 in 32 games for Yuzhny Ural Orsk’s Under-17 squad this season.  And at number three, Metallurg Novokuznetsk picked towering 16-year-old defenceman Alexander Alexeyev from the MHL’s Serebryanye Lvy St. Petersburg (he’s 6’3″).  Alexeyev scored two points in 20 games in Russia’s top junior league this past year, but had a line of 7-18-25 in 29 games as a 14- to 15-year-old in the U17 league the previous season.  Like Baranov, Alexeyev also was called up to the Under-18 World Championship team.

Full details of the draft can be seen here!