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European Report: Everyone is finally back playing

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The seasons are racing to a close and there are playoff spots to clinch. Meanwhile, Eemeli Räsánen is finally playing hockey.

2017 NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7 Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Yegor Korshkov

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

Korshkov missed a couple of games again, but then showed up right back in his spot at third-line right wing in an easy blow-out win against Kunlun Red Star. He’s not shooting enough yet, and it’s obvious he’s just working back into shape.

Lovomotiv are in third place this weekend at the All-Star break in the KHL, and with only a few games left, they want to hold that against Jokerit.

Eemeli Räsänen

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

At long last, Eemeli Räsänen is back from injury. He was loaned to the Mestis team Kiekko-Vantaa for two games last week. The Mestis is the Finnish second-level league, and is right now the only option for Jokerit to use to loan their players to. They do not have a VHL team like most KHL teams do.

Räsänen played top pairing for around 18 minutes in each game, and had one assist. He’s shooting a lot, which is normal for him, so he’s coming back into form.

Jokerit is heading for the playoffs in the KHL very soon, and it seems unlikely that they will disrupt their defence corps for their rookie. He is under contract to the team for another year, however, so he’ll get his chances.

If anyone who speaks Finnish wants to watch this interview and tell us if there’s anything interesting in it, we’ll shower you with thanks:

Jesper Lindgren

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

Jesper Lindgren played two games this week, and he is still firmly seated on the second pairing, often getting close to first-pairing minutes. He has 11 points in 28 games, and now has the highest Corsi percentage on his team. He seems cursed to never score, though. In his last game, a 6-5 win, he played 20 minutes and was on the ice for only one goal for or against.

Pontus Holmberg

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

Växjö are the sort of team that barely wins or loses their games. With 33 games played, they’ve moved into the sixth spot in the closely packed standings with a goal differential of four. That keeps coaches up at night.

Given that, and now that their raft of juniors are all back and playing again, I’m not all that surprised to see Pontus Holmberg playing a little bit less than he was before. He spent one game as the fourth-line centre instead of the third, and that was a shutout loss. In their second game this week, he played similar low minutes in a close (of course) OT loss.

Semyon Kizimov

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

Lada only played one game this week in a scheduling oddity, and Semyon Kizimov was not in the game. He’s not listed as injured, so I’m not sure what’s up there. He was not called up to the KHL either.

Nikolai Chebykin

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

Nikolai Chebykin played in two games, one with very limited ice time, so I wonder if he’s not perfectly healthy either.

Vladislav Kara

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

Vladislav Kara was sent back to the VHL where he saw lots of ice time, and got four assists in three games, all wins for his team. He now has one goal and eight assists in 12 VHL games, so he’s an extremely good player at that level. Making the jump to the KHL is still a work in progress.

Meanwhile, Bars Kazan is so, so close to a playoff spot, that it’s easy to see why he was sent back to help them out.


The KHL had their all-star game this weekend, and one of the players that Kyle Dubas watched in Russia was on the ice: