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European Report: Championship Dreams

Jesper Lindgren is going deep in the playoffs, and he might come away with some distinctive hardware.

2015 NHL Draft - Portraits Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Yegor Korshkov

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

After finishing his KHL playoffs, Yegor Korshkov was called up to the Russian National B Team for a tour of Europe where they played some friendlies against other national teams. As the Senior Men’s Team was formed from KHL and NHL additions, they took over the games, but Korshkov and Lokomotiv teammate Pavel Kraskovsky hung on to make up a fourth line along with Nail Yakupov.

Those three couldn’t last on the team with the latest additions which include Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Nikita Kucherov and Nikita Gusev. Nikita Zaitsev has also joined the team.

The Russians officially released Korskov from the National Team on Saturday, so he is now, with three days remaining on his KHL contract, free of all obligations that could keep him out of Toronto. He may opt to come for the summer prospect camps, or he could be added to the Marlies at any time now.

Jesper Lindgren

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

Jesper Lindgren’s team, HPK, was not the favourite to go deep in the playoffs, but they’ve done it. After winning their first round against a similarly-ranked opponent without much trouble, they went on to the semifinals and faced one of the undisputed top two teams in the Liiga in Tappara. They beat them 4 games to 2, with every game a one goal difference barring a 4-1 win by HPK in their first home game of the series. This was very much an upset.

In the final round, the expectation was that, now faced with the other really hot team, Kärpät, they’d fold up and get beat easily. The first game of the series seemed to fulfill that prophesy. HPK scored first, but then Kärpät came back with four unanswered goals.

HPK, however, came back and won the next two games, one at home, one on the road, and they took home ice advantage away from the defending champions. Kärpät took it right back with a win in HPK’s arena in game four. The series is tied at two games all now, and the next game is Monday. By next Saturday, at the latest, the champion will be decided, someone will lift the Kanada-Malja, and Lindgren could return to the Marlies.

Lindgren missed two games of the playoffs at a time when the team had some kind of illness going around, but since then he has been the number two right-sided defender in every game.

So far in the playoffs he has one goal and three assists in 13 games played.

Eemeli Räsänen

D - 20 years old - shoots right - first year in the KHL

On the Marlies.

Pontus Holmberg

W/C - 19 years old - shoots left - first SHL season

Finished for the season.

Semyon Kizimov

RW - 19 years old - shoots left - first year in the VHL

Finished for the season.

Nikolai Chebykin

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

Chebykin finished the VHL season as a semifinal loser, and had a total of five points in 15 playoff games. It was a good showing for him after a difficult regular season, but his hopes of the KHL are likely very dimmed. If he were to ever try North American hockey again, he would be in the ECHL.

Vladislav Kara

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

Finished for the season.