Category Archives: VHL

The KHL Footprint at the 2019 NHL Draft

As expected, SKA St. Petersburg’s Vasily Podkolzin was the first Russian player chosen in this year’s NHL Draft. (Image Source)

The 2019 NHL Draft was a spectacular one for players from what we might call the KHL’s footprint; 28 Russians were drafted, the most since 2003, along with two Belarusians and one Latvian player, and one of the 22 Finns selected came from the youth system of Jokerit Helsinki. That makes 32 players to write about, and I have indeed hammered out a short blurb about each of them as well as a thought or two on the draft itself. Read on…

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New Faces in the VHL

The Humo Ice Dome in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, home of incoming VHL expansion team Humo Tashkent. (Image Source)

We talked yesterday about the season-ending developments in the KHL; now it is the turn of Russia’s second-tier men’s professional league, the VHL. The VHL also formally closed its 2018-19 season last week, and among the most interesting announcements to come out of that was the news that four new teams have been added to the league. Read on, as we look at each of those new arrivals, and toss in a couple of other snippets of news as well.

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Saryarka!

Highlights of Saryarka Karaganda’s Game 5 victory in the Petrov Cup Final, and of the trophy presentation.

We must admit that Saryarka Karaganda’s five-game win over Rubin in the Petrov Cup Final in the VHL, Russia’s second-tier men’s professional league, lacked the drama of Loko Yaroslavl’s Kharlamov Cup triumph (discussed here yesterday). However, it carries its own interesting story. The stunning thing about Saryarka lifting the Petrov Cup is that they came into the playoffs as the tenth seed (the VHL does not have Conferences), and yet by the time the Final against the fourth seed rolled around, the Kazakh club was not only still standing, but was the betting favourite. What happened? Read on…

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A Championship Day!

Agidel Ufa celebrate their second straight championship of the Women’s Hockey League! (Image Source)

This was a busy day indeed in Russian hockey! As the Russian Girls’ U16 team was picking up its second win in two games at the European Cup (6-1 over Hungary this time), no fewer than three Russian leagues saw their 2018-19 champions determined. Read on for a few quick details, and a related blog note.

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Finals Week in 2019! (Updated)

Saryarka Karaganda players celebrate after their remarkable performance in the VHL semifinal. (Image Source)

The KHL’s 2019 Gagarin Cup Final is set! The trophy will get a first-time name on it this season one way or the other, as CSKA Moscow get set to take on Avangard Omsk Oblast. And there will be a full preview of that series here in a couple of days. But for now, it is time to check in on the playoff doings in a number of other Russian men’s leagues, junior and senior — Read on, for a look at the approaching championships in the VHL, PVHL, MHL, and NMHL!

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Coming Attractions

The Russian women’s national team arrives in Krasnoyarsk for the 2019 Winter Universiade.
 (Image Source)

This will be a busy weekend in Russian hockey! Post-season play in the VHL commenced on Thursday, to join the KHL’s ongoing playoffs. And on Friday, the 2019 edition of the biennial Winter Universiade opens in Krasnoyarsk, in central Siberia. The KHL’s playoffs we discussed earlier in the week (and my prediction for the SKA-Spartak series is looking a tad… wrong, at the moment); read on for some talk about the VHL post-season and the upcoming Universiade!

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VHL Storylines

SKA-Neva St. Petersburg, your current VHL standings leaders, prepare for a December game against league newcomers HK Tambov. Left to right: Kirill Petkov, Daniil Ogirchuk, Vladislav Kurbatov, Ivan Volodin, Alexei Kruchinin, and Artyom Zemchyonok. (Image Source)

One level below the KHL lies the VHL (the Vysshaya Khokkeinaya Liga, usually translated as “Supreme Hockey League”), which includes the top professional farm teams of the KHL clubs; this is the Russian equivalent, more-or-less, of the North American AHL. And how has the VHL’s 2018-19 season been rolling along? Well, read on, for some of the stories that the league has generated this season, and for some players whose names may ring a bell with North American fans (and please note that all stats and standings notes are up to date through February 2nd).

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Silk Roads

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Where we left off in the VHL: Dynamo St. Petersburg players celebrate winning the Petrov Cup earlier this spring.  (Image Source)

The MHL, Russia’s top junior league, began 2018-19 play yesterday, and today it is the turn of the VHL, the country’s second-highest men’s professional circuit.  The VHL has undergone some re-branding, and its regular-season championship will now be known as the Silk Road Cup.  The playoff championship trophy remains the Petrov Cup, and it is currently in the possession of Dynamo St. Petersburg, who opened the season today with a rematch of the 2017-18 Final against their city rivals SKA-Neva.   Read on, for a quick primer.

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The VHL and PVHL in 2018-19

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Where we left off in the VHL: Dynamo St. Petersburg players celebrate winning the Petrov Cup earlier this spring.  (Image Source)

A couple of weeks ago we got the KHL schedule for 2018-19, and now we know the specifics of the upcoming season in Russia’s second- and third-tier men’s professional hockey leagues, the VHL and PVHL.  Both of the lower leagues have seen some shuffling of teams, so read on for those details and others…

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It Lives!

The Russian hockey map that I did a couple of seasons is back up and functioning (or is at least in a somewhat presentable form), and you can get to it via the link on the bar above (next to “Russian Hockey on Social Media,” which I also encourage you to check out), which will take to the map and a few explanatory notes.  The map by itself is viewable here.  More to come — I still have leagues to add to it, and there will doubtless be some changes over the course of this off-season.  Enjoy!