KHL Update: March 2021

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2021-03-20

 

 

The month of March has been a momentous time in the KHL, as it has seen the conclusion of the regular season and the beginning of the Gagarin Cup playoffs. This tournament presents a unique opportunity for some of the most promising prospects in the league to prove themselves in what will be, for some, the highest stakes and highest-level competition they have faced so far in their young careers. This month’s report will focus on some of those prospects whose teams have competed in these playoffs so far.

 

 

Ivan Chekhovich, LW, Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod (San Jose Sharks)

Chekohovich completed a very productive regular season for Torpedo, finishing with a total of 34 points in 43 games. However, his hopes to make an impact for his squad in the postseason went unfulfilled, with Torpedo being swept in four games by top-seeded AK Bars Kazan, although Chekhovich did score two goals in the four postseason games. On this tally, he demonstrated yet again why his wrist shot is considered the strong point of his offensive game, pinching aggressively towards the net and taking advantage of a choice rebound to snap one past the Kazan netminder.

 

Overall, Chekhovich’s 2020-21 campaign was a major success and turnaround following his struggles the previous season playing in the AHL for the San Jose Barracuda. Next up for the Sharks prospect is a second chance at stateside success, as he is set to join the Barracuda once again following a mandatory quarantine period.

 

 

Vitaly Kravtsov, LW, Traktor Chelyabinsk (New York Rangers)

Traktor may have bowed out of the Gagarin Cup playoffs in the first round, but Kravtsov still showed the talent and potential that he has on the offensive side of the puck. Kravtsov scored two goals and two assists in the five games of the first round. When scoring this goal Kravtsov demonstrated his strength and accuracy as a shooter as well as his ability to anticipate the play developing, leaping up to be ready as his line-mate stole the puck, then making a quick move around the remaining defender and beating the goaltender.

 

Kravtsov now heads across the Atlantic for his much-anticipated NHL debut. The Rangers have developed a strong pipeline of wing prospects in the past several years, and Kravtsov will now join Kaapo Kakko and Alexis Lafreniere as part of that group in the blue and white.

 

 

Artur Kayumov, LW, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (Chicago Blackhawks)

The Chicago Blackhawks continue to show a strong track record for finding unheralded prospects across Europe, and Kayumov may well be the next one to pleasantly surprise Blackhawk fans. Kayumov is not the most prolific scorer, but he plays a well-balanced two-way game, with results to show in both the regular season and playoffs. Through the first round, Kayumov has totaled two a