The Champions Hockey League started last week. Even though it’s supposed to be this amazingly interesting league where the top teams from different European leagues play against each other to see which one is the best, it’s not super popular even in Europe. But regardless of that, it’s a great scouting opportunity because there are a lot of interesting prospects playing there, and all the games are streamed on Youtube. The group stage games continue again on Thursday but here are some of my thoughts from the first week of games.
Bokk, who was drafted 25th overall this summer, was pretty good in the first game and fine in the second game. But I was expecting more from him because he can be magical with the puck. His usage was pretty good – he played on the second line and played the left half-wall role on Växjö’s second power play unit. He played almost 15 minutes in the first game but his ice time was down to 11 minutes in the second game.
Växjö is not as strong as it was last season when they had Elias Pettersson leading the charge but it’s still a very good team, so Bokk will need to show more to keep getting the type of ice time he needs. Bokk didn’t get any points in the two games they played but he got some good opportunities, especially in the first game.
Even though these two have played just a few games together, they’re having incredible chemistry already now. Kupari, who was drafted 20th overall this summer, is the center on Kärpät’s second line. Heponiemi, who was drafted 40th overall in 2017, is playing right wing. They also play together on the power play. Even though it’s the second power play unit on paper, I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up being the better of the two units.
Both guys are making clean entries to the zone with great