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European Report: Semyon Kizimov blasts away the December blahs with two game winners

Watch both goals here.

Terry Wilson / OHL Images

Yegor Korshkov

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

Still injured. Estimated return unknown.

Eemeli Räsänen

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

Still injured. Estimated return unknown.

Jesper Lindgren

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

Still injured. Estimated return unknown. I don’t even know how he’s hurt. He missed a bunch of games last year, and I belatedly know why that was. This is from February.

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Short of stalking all these guys on Instagram, we’ll just have to wait and be surprised when they pop up in the lineup again.

Pontus Holmberg

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

Pontus Holmberg hasn’t been injured, but he is in a slump. He’s not playing up to his usual level, and for the most recent game on Saturday Växjö shifted him to the wing. It didn’t work. He’s not shooting, and he had one shot wide in that game in almost 14 minutes. They lost it 1-0 in a shootout won by Samuel Fagemo, a name I mention, so when everyone starts talking him up at the WJC, you can nod an say, yeah, Sammy, I’ve heard of him.

In the previous Växjö game last week, they won it, but Holmberg was dull and uninteresting with only two shots to his credit, one on target, one not.

The SHL is on a break until December 19 now, and by then Holmberg will be at the WJC camp, so unless he’s cut and returned to his team, I’ll be ignoring the trials and tribulations of the men in orange for a month or so. Right now they are fifth in the standings, which is good, but tied for third worst in goals for, which is troubling.

Semyon Kizimov

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

Slump busted! Yes, someone finally scored! Semyon Kizimov, who did not make Russia’s WJC team, has been doggedly playing his role on one of the best VHL teams, and yet he’s not scored much lately. He fixed that this week.

In three games this week, he has two goals in two wins, and Lada sits safely on top of the standings again. But these weren’t any old pair of goals, they were both game winners:

This one was in OT.

This one near the end of the game.

Follow Russian Prospects on twitter to keep up with all the Leafs’ Russians.

Kizimov now has four goals and five assists in 28 games played.

Lada, his team, is the affiliate of Lokomotiv now (Korshkov’s KHL team). Lokomotiv just lost a dumbass to a long suspension (hit to the head, then he punched a ref, so he’s lucky he’s not out for the rest of the season) and they have injuries, obviously. They’ve called up from Lada some already, but the cherry on top for Kizimov this season will be to get a look from the KHL team. Now, I confess, I don’t know how the contract situation would have to work considering Lada was in the KHL last season and he is under contract to them. But those things can always get sorted out.

Nikolai Chebykin

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

Chebykin added an assist to his points totals this week in two wins for his team. He’s still playing very limited minutes.

Vladislav Kara

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

Are we busting slumps this week? We are! Vladislav Kara, recently called back up to the KHL, played in three games this week. In game one, he actually got something like fourth line minutes, but even better, he got what held up as the game-winning goal. I can’t find a clip of it, and the KHL decided it would be best to geoblock all their video content to keep any curious fans well away from their league.

Ak Bars played SKA next, got smoked, and Kara only played three minutes. The fact he ever saw the ice against a team that tough is a good sign, though.

Their third game of the week was a tight win, and he played about the same minutes. Who wants to be a 20-year-old hockey player, where progress comes in such small bites? I have to really admire everyone’s mental toughness in this kind of situation.


With the SHL break, all the injuries, and the KHL going on a shorter break for most of next week, I’m only going to do a report next Sunday if someone unexpectedly comes back from injury, otherwise, I’m going on hiatus until after the WJC, and we’ll catch up on everyone in early January.