Latvian Hockey News Report

By Didzis Rudmanis

Archive for June 26th, 2010

Tomas Surovy joins Dinamo Riga

leave a comment »

It has been confirmed that the 28-year-old Slovakian forward Tomas Surovy has signed a one-year contract with Dinamo Riga of the Kontinental Hockey League.

The previous season Surovy began in his native Banska Bystrica club, but soon enough he moved to Sweden, where scores 23(10+13) points in 48 games for Skelleftea.

In 2001 Tomas was drafted in the NHL, when Pittsburg Penguins selected him #120 overall. Up to 2006 Tomas played for both Pittsburgh Penguins and their AHL affiliate – Scranton Penguins.

He then returned to Europe, playing 2006-07 in Lulea, while between 2007 and 2009 he also remained in Swedish Elitserien, playing for Linkopings HC.

Oilers pick Pelss

leave a comment »

After three “empty” draft years for the currently 12th highest ranked country in the IIHF rankings, 1992-born forward Kristians Pelss has been selected by Edmonton Oilers #181 overall. Last season Pelss played for the Dinamo-Juniors Riga.

Pelss, who learned the game of hockey in Daugavpils, scored nine points in 48 games last season. He also played in the U18 IIHF World Championship in Minsk, where was one of the Latvian national team leaders, although managed to score only two goals.

Pelss is not the first Latvian player drafted by Edmonton Oilers – in 1993 Oilers picked Aleksandrs Kercs, who then played five games for the club in 1993-94.

Latvian players had not been drafted in the National Hockey League since 2006, when Senators chose Kaspars Daugavins, but Thrashers picked Arturs Kulda. Both made their debuts in the league last season.

Latvian hockey community does not expect another three years to pass, until the next Latvian is selected during the NHL Entry Draft, because 1994-born center forward Zemgus Girgensons, according to some North American draft analysts, is believed to be picked during the first or second round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Being 16 years old, he also played at the U18 World Championship in Minsk.

Another perspective 1994-born player is defender Kristaps Bazevics, who will play for AIK J18 in the Swedish U18 Elite league next season. He will turn 16 only in August.

Mark Hartigan returns to Riga

leave a comment »

After a season spent in CSKA Moscow, Canadian forward Mark Hartigan has signed a new contract with Dinamo Riga, informs the club’s official homepage.

After helping the Detroit Red Wings hoist the Stanley Cup in 2007-08, Hartigan proceeded to sign with the newly formed Dinamo Riga of the KHL for 2008-09.

Mark managed to score 37(20+17) points in 55 games, finishing his first season in Europe as the third leading scorer of Dinamo Riga, just behind Marcel Hossa and Matt Ellison.

He spent previous season playing for CSKA Moscow, where managed to score 22 points in 48 games. Just like in Riga a season ago, also CSKA Moscow was eliminated in the first round of the KHL playoffs.

Hartigan is the first foreign forward signed by Riga this summer. Previously GM Normunds Sejejs confirmed that both Juraj Simek and Kenneth Bergqvist will be in the training camp for a try-out. However, there hasn’t been a contract signed with them.

UPDATE: On June 27 it was confirmed that Simek does have a try-out contract signed. No news on Bergqvist though.