Russian prospect Alexander Orekhov, 16, passes away after puck to the neck

Jared Clinton
Alexander Orekhov (via Metallurg Novokuznetsk/Twitter)

Tragedy has struck the Russian U18 league as Metallurg Novokuznetsk captain Alexander Orekhov has passed away after being hit in the neck with a puck during a Jan. 14 game.

Orekhov, 16, was struck with the puck in the second period of a game against Sibir Novosibirsk. According to Sport.sk, the shot that hit Orekhov struck him with enough force that it “damaged the carotid artery and broke several bones.” Orekhov collapsed on the ice and suffered cardiac arrest. He was resuscitated and taken to local hospital, at which point he was put into a medically induced coma.

After nearly three weeks in a coma, however, Orekhov passed away Tuesday. Read more

KHL netminder snaps, ejected after losing it on player standing in front of crease

Jared Clinton
Georgi Gelashvili (via KHL/YouTube)

KHL goaltender Georgi Gelashvili hasn’t come anywhere close to making his way over to the NHL. The 32-year-old has spent the entirety of his career playing in Russia and Kazakhstan, and he’s far removed from his best years as a netminder.

But even if Gelashvili, who’s currently playing for Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk, was one of the best netminders in the KHL, he might not be fit for the NHL game. Not because his talent level wouldn’t be there, but because Gelashvili seems to be easily flustered by traffic in front of his net. Take Monday’s game against Traktor Chelyabinsk for example.

With 40 seconds left in the second period, Traktor’s Maxim Yakutsenya took a swipe at a puck that was fired on goal. Yakutsenya didn’t get any of the deflection, but his attempt infuriated Gelashvili, who got to his feet and started firing lefts and rights at Yakutsenya: Read more

KHL skills competition features flaming stick, trick nets and Robin Hood

Jared Clinton
Linus Omark (via KHL/YouTube)

Over the past few all-star weekends, the NHL has attempted to have their shootout competition mirror the NBA’s dunk contest. Players at the skills competition have used props, judges have doled out scores and fan voting has selected the winner. But if any league has gotten the breakaway contest to be a must-see event, it’s the KHL, where seemingly anything goes.

For instance, take one of the first goals of the competition, when Dmitri Kagarlitsky had the entire net to shoot at. Not because he deked goaltender Juha Metsola out of his net, but because somehow the net was rigged to actually pull away from the netminder: Read more

Watch former Senator Stephane Da Costa score highlight-reel goal in KHL

Jared Clinton
Stephane Da Costa (via KHL/YouTube)

Former Ottawa Senators prospect Stephane Da Costa has been playing for the KHL’s CSKA Moscow for the past two seasons, and the 26-year-old has turned into one of the league’s premier offensive players. Take his goal from Wednesday for example.

In the first period of a contest against Dynamo Moscow, Da Costa was working the point in the dying seconds of a power play when he started weaving into the Dynamo zone. First, Da Costa faked a slapshot and went around a defender with a spinorama. He followed that up with shoulder and head fakes that dropped a defenseman, who Da Costa then stepped around with ease. Virtually in alone, Da Costa used one last head fake to freeze goaltender Alexander Yeryomenko before rifling a puck into an open net: Read more

Prospect Need to Know: Jeremy Lauzon has Rouyn-Noranda flying

Jeremy Lauzon (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

It’s home stretch time in the CHL as trade deadlines have passed and all the newbies are settling in to their new uniforms. In 2016 draft news, the NHL’s Central Scouting bureau released its mid-term rankings and not surprisingly, Auston Matthews topped the European skaters list (because he’s playing in Switzerland). Team USA linemate Matthew Tkachuk of OHL London was tops amongst North American skaters, while Filip Gustavsson (Lulea) and Carter Hart (Everett) lead the goalies. Here’s a look at some of the other prospects making noise right now:

 

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Update: KHL team fined $9,200 after bananas thrown at Edwin Hedberg post-game

Jared Clinton
Edwin Hedberg (via KHL/YouTube)

The KHL is investigating an incident that occurred Wednesday when Edwin Hedberg, who plays for Croatian club Medvescak Zagreb, had bananas thrown at him by someone attending the game following his Zagreb’s 4-1 victory over Spartak Moscow.

“The league considers any actions of this kind inadmissible,” the league said, via The Associated Press. “Upon clarifying all of this incident’s details, KHL will take respective decisions in accordance with the league’s regulations.” Read more

Russian junior player breaks record for fastest hockey goal of all-time

Matt Larkin
FastGoal

Viktor Shakhvorostov accomplished something only Barry Allen could dream of on Friday night.

Shakhvorostov, 20, is a left winger in MHL, a junior feeder league of the KHL. He pulled off the utterly miraculous in a Jan. 8 game between his Irbis Kazan and Sarmaty Orenburg. He scored goal…3.05 seconds after the opening faceoff. It’s the fastest known goal to start a game in the history of hockey as we know it. Watch:

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Ilya Kovalchuk goes berserk, crosschecks, punches opponents in wild outburst

Jared Clinton
Ilya Kovalchuk throws a punch (via Robert Soderlind/Twitter)

When remembering Ilya Kovalchuk’s NHL tenure, it’s easy to recall the incredible wrist shot, the highlight-reel goals and the size and speed of a superstar. What some may not remember, though, is that Kovalchuk was no stranger to mixing it up.

Well, that side of Kovalchuk’s game reared its ugly head again at the Euro Hockey Tour’s Channel One Cup in Russia Thursday. During a game against Sweden, Kovalchuk was lined up across from Patrick Zackrisson during a neutral zone faceoff. As the puck was dropped, without warning, Kovalchuk began to cross check Zackrisson repeatedly, which was followed by a near fight at center ice: Read more