KHL season wrap up and playoff update
Nikita Gusev (TB) – Gusev finished the KHL season with 71 points in 57 games as he continues to be one of the best players in the KHL. He was one of four players from SKA in the top five scoring showing how dominate the team was, but can also lead to some pull back on how good he can be when he comes over to the NHL. Currently in seven playoff games Gusev has nine points, good for second on the team in scoring, as SKA are favorites to win the Gagarin Cup. Remember Gusev is still under contract for one more KHL season, and unless he buys himself out (unlikely) the 2018 season should have Gusev a fixture of the Tampa top six.
Evgeny Dadonov (FA) – Dadonov is one of the prized KHL free agents for the 2017 season, reports indicate he will sign with an NHL team but he may be swayed to stay in the KHL as well. This season Dadonov finished with 66 points in 53 games, good for fifth in league scoring and fourth in scoring for SKA overall. In playoffs Dadonov is leading SKA is scoring with 11 points in seven games, good for fifth overall in points. If brought over from the KHL Dadonov should be a top six fixture for a team but needs to remain consistent to stay in the lineup under NHL coaches.
Miro Aaltonen (Ana) – Another late round Ducks gem, Aaltonen was drafted in the sixth round of the 2013 draft and is currently playing for Vityaz Podolsk after coming over to the KHL from the SM-Liiga (Finnish Elite League). He finished the season with 44 points in 59 games, tied for 19th overall in points, and finishing third on his team. Aaltonen had no points in four KHL playoff games as his team was swept out of the playoffs. His contract is over in the 2017 season and may come over to the AHL/NHL, so he is one to watch.
Kirill Kaprizov (Min) – Every keeper league GM should know Kaprizov by now and if he is available add him as soon as you can, this should be the last warning. He finished the season with 42 points in 49 games, all while breaking Kuznetsov’s previous record for teenage scoring. Salavat Yulaev was bounced from the playoffs in five games and he recorded three goals in those games. He should be owned in every keeper league but the wait will have to be for the 2018 season.
Maxim Shalunov (Chi) – The 2011 fourth round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks finished his season with 37 points in 49 games for Sibir Novosibirsk, but his team missed the playoffs despite his efforts. Shalunov’s contract is up for 2017, and ever since his team did not make the playoffs rumours have been circulating that he will sign with the Blackhawks to help on their playoff run. If he does come over for the playoffs he could be a late round steal for playoff pools, and if he plays in the 2017-2018 season he may be the winger needed for Jonathan Toews in the Blackhawks top six.
Valeri Nichushkin (Dal) – Playing for CSKA Moscow instead of the Dallas Stars, Nichushkin finished his interesting season with 24 points in 36 games as he did not dominate as expected. His season started with an injury and poor play that resulted in him being scratched and almost sent down to the MHL before turning it around and being one of the better players for CSKA. CSKA is currently 5-1 in the playoffs and Nichushkin has four points in those games along with 18 shots on goal. He is likely in the KHL for one more season, as he did sign a two-year deal, and should hopefully start producers like fantasy GM’s wanted when they drafted him.
Igor Shestyorkin (NYR) – Sheshtyorkin had a phenomenal season as many know. He had 27 wins in 39 games, eight shutouts, a 0.938 save percentage, and 1.64 goals against average for the top KHL team SKA. For some reason, likely the age experience as any other reason is slightly less insane; SKA has instead started the older goalie Mikko Koskinen in all seven of their playoff games. Koskinen is playing well, but is also playing for the top team so either of them would likely be winning but it is still weird and Shestyorkin really should be starting.
Ilya Samsonov (WSH) – Samsonov has played the back up all season and that has continued to the playoffs, but his overall stats in both are great. Samsonov started 27 games overall winning 15 games, having a 0.936 save percentage, 2.13 gaa, and two shutouts. In the playoffs he has played two games, so the 0.949 save percentage and 1.30 gaa are a small sample size of great play. Next season he should be starting in the KHL whether it be with Metallurg or another team as he has one season remaining on his KHL deal. Rumours have him coming over in the 2018 season and hopefully for the Capitals that is true.
Ilya Sorokin (NYI) – Out of the big three Russian prospect goalies Sorokin has the best playoff stats, mostly because he is starting for his team but also because he has five wins in six games, a 0.921 save percentage, 1.86 gaa, and a shutout. In completion of his season Sorokin finished with 25 wins, 0.929 save percentage, 1.61 gaa, and five shutouts in 39 games. He has one year remaining on his deal where the Islanders should do everything in their power to get the 21-year old netminder over to North America.
Andrei Kareyev (Potential FA) – The 22-year old undrafted netminder has had a great season for an average team and then a poor team as he was traded mid-season. First, in 28 games for Metallurg Kareyev had six wins, a 2.57 gaa and a fantastic 0.932 save percentage, then after being traded in 16 games he posted six wins, three shutouts, 1.88 gaa, and a 0.943 save percentage. Last season for Metallurg he had average at best numbers and this season just took off for two separate franchises showing that this may be an outlier but his age and history show this may be a trend that continues. Kareyev may get a contract in the off season in 2019 when his contract runs out if he keeps up this play.
Thanks for reading. Send comments or follow me on the Cyber here –> @FHPQuinn