Latvian Hockey News Report

By Didzis Rudmanis

Archive for June 29th, 2010

Dinamo Riga announces 48 candidates for the MHL team (updated)

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Dinamo Riga is getting ready not only for the next season of Kontinental Hockey League, but also MHL, where HK Riga is going to take part in for the first time. Just before the beginning of training camp on June 5, club’s homepage initially announced 46 candidates for the team, but a few days later 2 more players (Jasionis and Ozols) were added to the list.

Both Viktors Jasionis and Mikus Ozols are forwards. While Ozols, being 1991-born, played in Arboga last year, Jasionis played in the Latvian league club Metalurgs Liepaja-2.

Pos. Nat. Name Date of birth Previous club
GK Latvia Ivars Punnenovs 1994.05.30 Pikes EHC Oberthurgau
GK Latvia Kristers Gudlevskis 1992.07.31 Ozolnieki/Juniors
GK Latvia Rihards Cimermanis 1993.03.22 SK Riga/Profs 18
GK Latvia Toms Broks 1991.04.24 Arboga J20
GK Latvia Uldis Calpa 1991.09.04 SK Riga/Profs 18
DF Latvia Andrejs Smirnovs 1992.06.27 SK Riga/Profs 18
DF Latvia Arturs Salija 1992.05.15 SK Riga/Profs 18
DF Latvia Edgars Dikis 1991.10.16 Arboga J20
DF Latvia Edvards Zarins 1991.12.02 Arboga J20
DF Latvia Eriks Sevcenko 1991.04.28 Dinamo-Juniors Riga
DF Latvia Gustavs Celms 1993.11.12 SK Riga/Profs 18
DF Latvia Janis Lazdans 1992.10.04 SK Riga/Profs 18
DF Latvia Karlis Kalvitis 1991.03.25 Shattuck St. Mary’s
DF Latvia Kriss Lipsbergs 1993.04.03 SK Riga/Profs 18
DF Latvia Kristaps Nimanis 1993.07.21 SK Riga/Profs 18
DF Latvia Martins Jakovlevs 1991.05.04 Dinamo-Juniors Riga
DF Latvia Martins Porejs 1991.07.06 Dinamo-Juniors Riga
DF Latvia Nikita Kolesnikovs 1992.10.30 SK Riga/Profs 18
DF Latvia Pauls Zvirbulis 1993.02.24 SK Riga/Profs 18
DF Latvia Ricards Birzins 1989.04.24 Dinamo-Juniors Riga
FW Latvia Andris Siksnis 1993.05.06 SK Riga/Profs 18
FW Latvia Davis Straupe 1992.08.05 SK Riga/Profs 18
FW Latvia Deniss Baskatovs 1993.04.06 HK Prizma
FW Latvia Edgars Bebris 1991.08.07 HK Ogre
FW Latvia Elvijs Biezais 1991.06.30 Dinamo-Juniors Riga
FW Latvia Ivans Dmitrijevs 1992.07.08 HK Prizma
FW Latvia Janis Berzins 1992.12.20 SK Riga/Profs 18
FW Latvia Janis Zarins 1991.07.29 Arboga J20
FW Sweden Jesper Aasa 1991.08.12 Shattuck St. Mary’s
FW Latvia Juris Upitis 1991.06.16 Dinamo-Juniors Riga
FW Latvia Juris Ziemins 1993.09.15 SK Riga/Profs 18
FW Latvia Kirils Tambijevs 1992.02.04 SK Riga/Profs 18
FW Latvia Kristians Pelss 1992.09.09 Dinamo-Juniors Riga
FW Latvia Lauris Rancevs 1993.10.17 SK Riga/Profs 18
FW Latvia Maris Bicevskis 1991.08.03 Dinamo-Juniors Riga
FW Latvia Mikelis Freimanis 1992.09.17 Ozolnieki/Juniors
FW Latvia Miks Indrasis 1990.09.30 Dinamo-Juniors Riga
FW Latvia Miks Lipsbergs 1991.06.09 Dinamo-Juniors Riga
FW Latvia Raimonds Upenieks 1992.02.20 SK Riga/Profs 18
FW Latvia Raimonds Vilkoits 1990.04.10 Dinamo-Juniors Riga
FW Latvia Rinalds Rautensilds 1993.01.15 SK Riga/Profs 18
FW Latvia Ronalds Cinks 1990.03.22 Dinamo Riga
FW Latvia Rudolfs Prusis 1992.05.26 SK Riga/Profs 18
FW Latvia Rustams Begovs 1993.06.26 SK Riga/Profs 18
FW Latvia Vjaceslavs Movko 1992.01.22 HK Ogre
FW Latvia Vladislavs Dobrenkijs 1991.08.08 Dinamo-Juniors Riga

Three Latvians drafted in the CHL Import Draft (updated)

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Today Latvian forwards Kristians Pelss, who was drafted into the NHL by Edmonton Oilers three days ago, and Vitalijs Hvorostinins, as well as defender Ricards Berzins(Richards Berzins), were drafted during the CHL Import Draft. Pelss was picked by the Edmonton Oil Kings of WHL #19 overall, while Hvorostinins was selected by Val-d’Or Foreurs #30 overall, but Berzins was picked by Owen Sound Attack #58 overall.

Let me just remind you that last season Pelss played for the Dinamo-Juniors Riga in the Belarusian league. 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.

Vitalijs Hvorostinins, just like Pelss, learned the game of hockey in Daugavpils and, instead of Pelss, Hvorostinins played in local DHK Latgale last season, scoring 23 (9+14) points in 30 games. He also played several games for the Daugavpils U18 team.

Ricards Berzins spent previous season with HS Prizma/Pardaugava 92 in the Latvian U18 league and did not make the Latvian U18 national team. In 2008-09 he also played 20 games for Latvian league club HS Prizma/Hanza Riga. Before this draft, his name was rather unfamiliar around the Latvian hockey community.

The highest-ever drafted Latvian player in the CHL Import Draft was Agris Saviels, who was the number one draft pick in 1999. He was picked by Owen Sound Attack. In a more recent history, Kaspars Daugavins was the third overall pick in 2006. He was chosen by Toronto St. Michael’s Majors of OHL. Last year Daugavins made his debut in the NHL, playing a single game for the Ottawa Senators.

Masalskis signs with Yugra

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Latvian goaltender Edgars Masalskis, who spent previous season in Dinamo Riga and is a part of Latvian national team, has signed a one year contract with Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk of the Kontinental Hockey League.

Already once the season ended, a lot of rumours regarding Masalskis future plans arised, the most popular ones including destinations of Spartak Moscow and Ak Bars Kazan. However, approximately two weeks ago there were rumours that he had signed with Budivelnyk Kiev(which withdrew from the KHL due to problems with arena less than a week ago).

Dinamo Riga GM Normunds Sejejs had said that both sides had tough time negotiating, so it ended without any beneficial results. Instead, Dinamo Riga signed Chris Holt and said to have a mutual agreement with Henrik Karlsson. As I already reported some days ago, Karlsson will not play in Riga, hoping of making the second goalie position in Calgary.

When Dinamo Riga was established in 2008, Masalskis signed a contract with the club and played eight spectacular games. Unfortunately, in October, after a team’s dinner in Old Riga, being drunk, he got into a brawl, where broke his ankle and so was fired from the club. When he finally healed his injury, he joined Fuchse Duisburg of DEL as a place, where to finish the season.

Prior 2009-10, Masalskis signed a new contract with Dinamo Riga and played a great season, allowing the team to beat respectable SKA St. Petersburg in the first round of Gagarin Cup Playoffs. SKA had such stars as Esche, Zubov, Cajanek, Sushinsky, Yashin on their roster. SKA St. Petersburg finished first in the Western Conference in the regular season.

Masalskis is the fourth import player signed by Yugra. The club has also signed contracts with Swedish defenseman Tommy Wargh and Slovak forwards Vladimir Dravecky and Marek Zagrapan.