Posts Tagged ‘Dinamo-Juniors Riga’
After undergoing severe financial problems, bankruptcy and a rebirth with new owner, Hull Stingrays has now added two Latvian defenders – Aivars Gaisins and Kriss Grundmanis – to their Elite Ice Hockey League roster.
Gaisins joined Hull Stingrays already in January, to fill holes left by injuries, but apparently was resigned only today. The 28-year-old Latvian played only two games for Stingrays last season, breaking his hand in the latter of them. 21-year-old Kriss Grundmanis spent the previous season with Dinamo Juniors Riga of Belarusian league – the farm club of Kontinental Hockey League’s Dinamo Riga.
This will increase the total number of Latvian in EIHL to four, with Toms Hartmanis already being signed by Newcastle Vipers and goalie Ervins Mustukovs, announced as the league’s best player of week one, playing for Sheffield Steelers. There are another four players in English Premier Ice Hockey League.
Also Latvian league clubs are continuing their preparation for the upcoming season and DHK Latgale has announced that it has resigned 24-year-old forward Eduards Bullitis, who played for the club already last season, informs club’s homepage.
Last season he finished just behind Lithuanian teammate Egidijus Bauba, who collected 58 points and was the league top scorer. Bullitis finished with 56 points. By the way, also Bauba will play this season in DHK Latgale.
The team has also made several addition to their roster, which includes Lithuanian goalkeeper Arturas Kuzmicius, 18-year-old forward Rihards Grigors, who appeared in eight games for HK Ozolnieki/Monarhs last season, defender Edgars Apelis, who played for Dinamo-Juniors Riga last season. The club will also see the return of Aleksejs Matvejevs, who spent the last season with Bietigheim-Bissingen U20 of the German U20 league.
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.