The first calendar month of the National Hockey League regular season is over. It turned out to be truncated, the season started only in mid-January, but the Russian fans already had a lot of reasons for discussion. The failed start of Gusev and Bobrovsky, an extravaganza performed by Romanov and Kaprizov, and many other news that arrive every day. Sport24 has decided to identify 5 Russian NHL stars by this point.
Kirill Kaprizov - Minnesota Wild
Statistics: 9 matches, 7 (2 + 5) points, "+5"
In the 2015 when Wild chose Metallurg Novokuznetsk's pupil under the overall 135th number, Kirill appeared, albeit a talented and promising player, but certainly not a hockey player of his generation. Over the six years since that moment, Kaprizov has progressively reached the status of a superstar: he successfully passed the test by the top clubs, went to two MFMs as the undisputed leader of the national team, won the Gagarin Cup and scored the gold puck at the Olympics in Pyeongchang.
Looking at the development of the prospect of their club, the fans and the leadership of the “savages” happily clapped their hands and waited for the end of the contract of the “golden boy” with CSKA. Almost six years of agonizing expectations have fully justified themselves: the native of Kuzedeevo in eight matches managed to confirm his readiness to take on the role of a franchise player, around whom you can safely build a team in the near future.
In the debut match, Kirill scored 3 (1 + 2) points and scored the winning goal in overtime, and at the end of the first week of the NHL regular season he was recognized as the first star. Kaprizov, of course, still has to pass the test of time and find stability in the best league in the world, but how brightly he had the start of the season, says only one thing: a world hockey star has arrived in Minnesota.
Alexander Romanov - Montreal Canadiens
Statistics: 8 matches, 2 (1 + 1) points, "+5"
Before the debut of the former CSKA defender in the NHL, skeptics had a lot of doubts: how can a player who received about ten minutes per match in the KHL be able to quickly and painlessly adapt to the best league in the world, and even in a team known for its terrible pressure on players from the outside? The grandson of the renowned defender Zinetula Bilyaletdinov answered this and many other questions in his debut match for Montreal: 22 minutes of playing time, an effective pass across half the court, amazing confidence in his actions and a strong feeling that the newcomer of the team is already playing in this league. several seasons.
“Just throw him into hell and wait for 10 matches, he will handle it brilliantly,” CSKA defender Bogdan Kiselevich expressed faith in former teammate.
A dozen matches were not required: Romanov immediately showed a whole layer of the hitherto hidden arsenal of skills, which he revealed only when he felt unconditional trust from the coaching staff of the new club. Yes, in the game of the Russian defender, as in the actions of any other player, there is a place for productive mistakes, however, the efficiency of Alexander's actions on the ice certainly has a positive balance.
Montreal made it clear to the top prospect that they intend to make him the team's leading defender for many years to come, and at the moment the promising defender fully meets the expectations of the new club.
Andrey Svechnikov - Carolina Hurricanes
Statistics: 5 matches, 6 (4 + 2) points, "+2"
“I have the impression that Andrei has every chance to fight for Maurice Richard - the title of the best sniper of the season. He has tremendous trust, great partners and all the qualities that define a superstar sniper, ”NHL commentator Sergei Fedotov shared his opinion about the young striker's performance this season.
A distinctive feature of the young talent of the Carolina system is that it is very stable. Svechnikov Jr. rarely has failed matches, which is especially surprising given the level of resistance he encounters in each meeting: Andrei has been the undisputed leader of his club and the most important link in the top three for the second season in a row, so either masters in containing the leaders of the rival, or just the best players in the league, who take a place in the starting line of their team.
The Hurricanes attack leader can and can (and sometimes it feels like he just loves) to play under pressure and create chances out of nothing. Andrey is good at power wrestling and, sometimes forgetting about the superstar status of his club, willingly goes into the corners and imposes power struggle on an opponent of any mass and size. A mix of love for power play and an exorbitant level of talent allowed Svechnikov to break into the ranks of the league's best forwards, so a bright and productive start of the current season in his performance is no longer surprising.
Denis Guryanov - Dallas Stars
Statistics: 5 matches, 7 (3 + 4) points, "+1"
The Togliatti hockey pupil made a breakthrough last season, becoming the best sniper of his club in the regular season and a notable figure in the playoffs. Despite local successes, last year Guryanov was not ready for the role of a top-6 forward, admitting periodic periodic failures in your game.
The main thing that the last season gave our striker was invaluable experience in decisive Stanley Cup matches, from which Denis took the maximum: right now he is the second sniper and scorer of the club (if it were not for Joe Pavelski, who is experiencing his second youth, then our striker would have been the most productive player in the team ) and staked out a place in the first special brigade of the majority. In addition to increasing the playing time in unequal lineups, Guryanov got a place in the top 6 and became a full-fledged leader of Dallas' attacks: only once this season he left the ice without scored points.
Last offseason, the Russian striker signed a 2-year and $ 5 million bridge contract with his team. If the newly minted leader of the Texas club manages to demonstrate the game that he is showing now throughout the term of this agreement, then the club's management can be applauded for a great deal.
Ivan Provorov - Philadelphia Flyers
Statistics: 6 matches, 6 (2 4) points, 6
The Flyers' defender is the best two-way defender with a Russian passport, striking stability and still not reaching his ceiling.
“He plays in all situations, every year he gets better and is still young,” says Philadelphia leader Claude Giroud.
For Provorov, to whose level everyone around is already accustomed, this season is special: in the home matches of the pilots, the stripe “A” will flaunt on his chest - a clear demonstration of his role in the team