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European Report: Injuries and limited ice time this week

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Between the games lost to injury and the games spent sitting on the bench, no one is playing much hockey other than Pontus Holmberg.

2017 NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7
The big man is still out of action, and has played as little as Yegor Korshkov as the KHL season is more than half over.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Yegor Korshkov

RW - 22 years old - shoots left - fourth full KHL season

Still injured.

Eemeli Räsänen

D - 19 years old - shoots right - first year in the KHL

Still injured.

Jesper Lindgren

D - 21 years old - shoots right - second season in the Liiga

Still injured.

Pontus Holmberg

LW - 19 years old - shoots left - first SHL season

Växjö played only two games this week, a Wednesday match against Örebro which they won 3-2, and a Saturday game against HV71, which they lost fairly easily.

In the Wednesday game, Pontus Holmberg was unremarkable, logging third line minutes, doing well, but not shooting much. In the Saturday game, HV71 always had the lead, and Växjö were back to their old non-scoring ways. Holmberg played well (this game was on during Nylander Watch, so I wasn’t concentrating well) but he’s not getting into scoring position or playing with wingers who do right now.

He is stuck at three goals and four assists in 22 games. The team has moved up to fifth place in the standings, however, on the strength of strong overall play and good goaltending.

Växjö play two more games before the December break, which coincides with the WJC camp. If Holmberg makes the Swedish team, he’ll be out of SHL action after next week until mid-January.

Semyon Kizimov

RW - 18 years old - shoots left - first year in the VHL

Lada had two games this week, won them both, is back on top of the VHL standings, but Semyon Kizimov can’t seem to find the scoresheet. He did have four SOG in one game, so that’s a good sign.

Nikolai Chebykin

Winger - 21 years old - shoots left - third VHL season

Toros had two games, a win and a loss, and Nikolai Chebykin looks like a fourth liner by his ice time. The team has clawed their way up to seventh in the league.

Vladislav Kara

Winger/C - 20 years old - shoots left - third pro season, first in the KHL/VHL

Vladislav Kara played in three games with Ak Bars in the KHL, all wins. In the first game, he had five shifts and 3:39 of ice time. In the second, more of a blowout win, he had eight shifts and 6:29 of ice time. In the third game, a closer win against a better team, he was dressed but did not play.

So his callup to the KHL is working out this year a lot like it did last year as opposed to earlier this season where he played a regular fourth-line shift. It’s very tough for a young player on a good team to crack the roster. We’ve seen that with the Leafs. For Ak Bars, they’re on a winning streak, their record is 25 wins and 10 losses, and that’s only good enough for third place in their conference.

The same thing will be true for Eemeli Räsänen and Jokerit when he’s back in playing shape. They’re at 21 wins and 10 losses and are third in their conference. Neither team is going to have the room for a rookie to see much ice.

The KHL plays to December 12, and then are off for five days.


Miro Aaltonen continues to prosper in the KHL with 14 goals and 14 assists in 34 games played. I don’t think he’ll take the Leafs up on their offer to come back next season.

Martins Dzierkals is still in the Latvian league as near as I can tell, so I’m calling him a former prospect six months before his rights actually expire.

Vladimir Bobylyov is holding down a depth job on the same team as Chebykin even though he has only seven points in 27 games.

I updated the pipeline chart to show teams players are on as well as when rights expire, if you like to keep track.