Latvian Hockey News Report

By Didzis Rudmanis

Posts Tagged ‘National Hockey League

Coyotes clinch victory in Riga

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This evening Arena Riga, packed with both fans and journalists from all over the world, hosted the third-ever KHL-NHL game, in which Phoenix Coyotes, without putting much too effort in it, won Dinamo Riga 3:1. The only one to score for Dinamo was Mark Hartigan.

Already since the very first minutes of the game Coyotes had the edge of the game on their side. During the first ten minutes Riga managed to take only one shot on Bryzgalov’s net, but Coyotes managed to turn their dominance into a goal only late in the period, when Taylor Pyatt scored after a rebound from Tellqvist’s pads.

Although also during the beginning of the second period Coyotes still maintained the puck and produced goal-scoring chances, it was the Dinamo Riga, who scored. Right after both team swapped goalies, Brock Trotter set up a goal for Mark Hartigan, who defeated Jason LaBarbera. However, late in the period Petr Prucha regained the lead, scoring the second goal for Phoenix.

During the third period nothing much changed and Dinamo was still clearly outbeaten, the defense of Dinamo was slowly falling apart, which gave an opportunity for Lee Stempniak to score the third goal of the game. If it was not for Chris Holt, who received the game-MVP award, the result could have become embarassing.

This was already the tenth Dinamo Riga game against NHL clubs, as Riga played in several Soviet-NHL series in the 1980’s. Phoenix was the first club in Riga since Montreal Canadiens, who played in Latvia already twenty years ago.

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Latvian Legion 2010/11

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This list was last updated in mid-January, 2011.

As some of the European leagues have already started their 2010/11 seasons and many others are on the very verge of it, I believe, it is exactly the right time to post a list of all the Latvian players, spending their upcoming seasons abroad. The current list includes 150 players.

This list is never going to be fully complete and that is why any additions or corrections are welcomed at the comments section.

North America

  • National hockey league
  1. Karlis Skrastins – Dallas Stars
  2. Oskars Bartulis – Philadelphia Flyers
  3. Raitis Ivanans – Calgary Flames
  4. Arturs Kulda – Atlanta Thrashers (a possible call-up)
  • American hockey league
  1. Arturs Kulda – Chicago Wolves
  2. Kaspars Daugavins – Binghamton Senators
  3. Oskars Bartulis – Adirondack Phantoms
  • Western hockey league
  1. Kristians Pelss – Edmonton Oil Kings
  • United States hockey league
  1. Zemgus Girgensons – Dubuque Fighting Saints
  • ACHA
  1. Renars Rukmanis – Duquesne University
  • MetJHL
  1. Hedijs Pleskacovs – Florida Eels
  2. Livars Lans – Florida Eels
  • NAHL
  1. Nils Semjonovs – Aberdeen Wings
  2. Ralfs Freibergs – Texas Tornado
  3. Ricards Berzins – Wenatchee Wild
  • GMHL
  1. Nikita Jevpalovs – South Muskoka Shield
  2. Toms Taurins – Bradford Rattlers
  3. Rudolfs Prusis – Bradford Rattlers
  • CSHL
  1. Nauris Buskevics – Quad City Jr. Flames
  • WSHL
  1. Alberts Boluss – Texas Jr. Brahmas
  2. Ivo Dimitrijevs – Arizona Redhawks
  • IJHL
  1. Mareks Kepals – Boston Jr. Blackhawks
  2. Girts Savrinovics – Philadelphia Jackals
  • RAMHL
  1. Ainis Zalans – Sisec Selects
  2. Rihards Marenis – Sisec Selects
  3. Davis Sprukts – Sisec Selects
  • Midget AAA
  1. Hardijs Kupaks – Ohio Jr. Blue Jackets
  2. Mikus Sprinovskis – PEAC Piranhas
  • Midget AA
  1. Rudolfs Kalvitis – Shattuck St. Mary’s
  • Prep School
  1. Teodors Blugers – Shattuck St. Mary’s
  2. Olafs Jurenko – Cedarburg Bulldogs
  • Rocky Mountain Senior hockey league
  1. Ivars Muzis – Sun Valley Suns
  2. Vilnis Nikolaisons – Sun Valley Suns

Europe

Austria

  • Austrian Oberliga (third tier)
  1. Matiss Gelazis – Graz 99ers II (also plays in Slovenian league)
  2. Zintis Zusevics – Graz 99ers II (also plays in Slovenian league)

Belarus

  • Belarussian Extraleague
  1. Atvars Tribuncovs – Gomel
  • MHL
  1. Edgars Ulescenko – Yunost
  2. Aleksandrs Kercs jr. – Yunost
  3. Aleksandrs Galkins – Zubry Minsk

Czech Republic

  • Czech Extraliga
  1. Aleksejs Sirokovs – HC Kometa Brno
  • Czech 2. liga (third tier)
  1. Aleksandrs Baburins – HC Most

Denmark

  • Al-Bank Ligaen
  1. Sergejs Cubars – Hvidovre
  • Denmark2
  1. Oskars Jursans – Gladsaxe
  2. Dmitrijs Orlovs – Amager Ishockey

Estonia

  • Meistriliiga
  1. Maris Lotko – HK Kalev-Valk Tartu
  2. Lauris Dancis – HK Kalev-Valk Tartu
  3. Davis Zunde – HK Kalev-Valk Tartu

Finland

  • SM-liiga
  1. Kaspars Saulietis – HPK
  2. Armands Berzins – HPK
  • Mestis
  1. Roberts Jekimovs – Jokipojat
  • Suomi-sarja
  1. Gints Purins – Hermes
  2. Gatis Gricinskis – Hermes
  3. Janis Purins – Hermes
  4. Raitis Pujats – FPS
  5. Mihails Koklins – HC Levia
  • Finland4
  1. Girts Jansons – Muik Hockey
  2. Viktors Jasjonis – IK Kronan
  3. Artjoms Ogorodnikovs – IK Kronan
  4. Vadims Vabiscevics – Kraft
  5. Edgars Cermnihs – Kraft
  6. Vladislavs Dudins – Kraft
  7. Janis Liepa – PyPo
  8. Edgars Dzirkalis – PyPo
  9. Roberts Danemanis – PyPo
  10. Nauris Enkuzens – Kiekkohait
  11. Martins Gipters – Kiekkohait
  • Jr. B I-divisioona
  1. Konstantis Sipunovs – Ahmat Hyvinkaa U18

France

  • Ligue Magnus
  1. Olegs Koreskovs – Morzine-Avoriaz
  • Division 1
  1. Rolands Vigners – Reims
  2. Raimonds Danilics – Montpellier
  3. Janis Brakss – Montpellier
  4. Janis Straupe – Montpellier
  • Division 2
  1. Elvis Zelubovskis – Lyon
  • French U22 league
  1. Rolands Vigners – Reims U22

Germany

  • DEL
  1. Herberts Vasiljevs – Krefeld Pinguine
  • Regionalliga
  1. Lauris Ziemins – Herford
  • U20 Bundesliga
  1. Janis Berzins – ESC Moskitos Essen U20
  • DNL
  1. Arturs Birstins – SC Riessersee U18
  2. Vladislavs Tatarnikovs- SC Riessersee U18

Great Britain

  • EIHL
  1. Toms Hartmanis – Newcastle Vipers
  2. Ervins Mustukovs – Sheffield Steelers
  3. Aivars Gaisins – Hull Stingrays
  • EPIHL
  1. Maris Ziedins – Peterborough Phantoms
  2. Kristaps Pete – Sheffield Steeldogs
  3. Kriss Grundmanis – Sheffield Steeldogs
  4. Edgars Bebris – Sheffield Steeldogs (according to eliteprospects.com, has gained an UK citizenship)
  5. Janis Ozolins – Sheffield Steeldogs
  6. Andrejs Maslovskis – Telford Tigers

Italy

  • Serie A
  1. Agris Saviels – Valpellice
  • Serie B
  1. Olegs Sorokins – Vipiteno

Kazakhstan

  • Kazakh league
  1. Martins Raitums – Beibarys Atyrau
  2. Andrejs Smirnovs – Beibarys Atyrau
  3. Sergejs Tjoluskins – Beibarys Atyrau

Lithuania

  • Ledo Ritulio Lyga
  1. Vladimirs Parhomenko – Ledo Linija Siauliai
  2. Arturs Batraks – Ledo Linija Siauliai
  3. Raitis Brinecs – Ledo Linija Siauliai
  4. Andris Valters – Ledo Linija Siauliai
  5. Igors Birjukovs – Sadvita Klaipeda
  6. Kristaps Buzats – Sadvita Klaipeda
  7. Nikita Dobrenkijs – Sadvita Klaipeda
  8. Aleksejs Proposins – Sadvita Klaipeda
  9. Guntis Pujats – Sadvita Klaipeda

Netherlands

  • Eredivisie
  1. Aleksandrs Terjohins – Heerenveen Flyers

Norway

  • Get Division (second thier)
  1. Janis Smits – Comet

Poland

  • Polish 2nd league
  1. Toms Bluks – Sokoly Torun
  2. Edgars Adamovics – Sokoly Torun
  3. Andrejs Lavrenovs – Sokoly Torun

Russia

  • KHL
  1. Martins Cipulis – Amur Khabarovsk
  2. Georgijs Pujacs – Sibir Novosibirsk
  3. Aleksandrs Jerofejevs – Metallurg Novokuznetsk
  4. Edgars Masalskis – Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk
  5. Maris Jass – Neftekhimik Niznekamsk
  • VHL
  1. Sergejs Pecura – Krylia Sovetov
  • MHL
  1. Artjoms Dasutins – HK Sheriff
  2. Edgars Ulescenko – Yunost
  3. Aleksandrs Kercs jr. – Yunost
  4. Ronalds Cinks – Krylia Sovetov
  5. Aleksandrs Galkins – Zubry Minsk
  • Russian 1st league
  1. Andrejs Ignatovics – Titan Klin
  2. Juris Ozols – Tital Klin

Slovenia

  • Slovenian league
  1. Matiss Gelazis – Graz 99ers II (also plays in Austrian Oberliga)
  2. Zintis Zusevics – Graz 99ers II (also plays in Austrian Oberliga)

Sweden

  • Division 1
  1. Aleksandrs Semjonovs – Arboga
  2. Rolands Gritans – Arboga
  3. Arturs Ozolins – Karlskrona HK
  4. Maksims Sirokovs – Karlskrona HK
  5. Sergejs Louskins – Lindlovens IF
  6. Renars Undelis – Lindlovens IF
  7. Alberts Ilisko – Nynashamns IF
  8. Valters Ozolins – Arlanda
  9. Krists Kalnins – Arlanda
  10. Aleksandrs Macijevskis – Bjorkloven
  11. Nikolajs Jerofejevs – Tranas
  • Division 2
  1. Martins Ozolins – Sollentuna HC
  2. Toms Tilla – Sollentuna HC
  3. Aleksandrs Bebriss-Fedotovs – Vannas HC
  4. Roberts Potapenko – Vannas HC
  5. Vadims Maticins – Jonstorps IF
  • Division 3
  1. Elvis Veldze – Syrianska/Armeniska HC
  2. Oskars Blums – Syrianska/Armeniska HC
  • J20 Elit
  1. Kristaps Legzdins – Sunne J20
  • J20 Div. 1
  1. Boriss Tretjakovs – Arboga J20
  • J18 Elit
  1. Martins Lavrovs – Arlanda J18
  2. Edgars Klavins – Lidingo J18
  3. Ansis Brikainis – Lidingo J18
  4. Kristaps Riekstins – Lidingo J18
  5. Kristaps Bazevics – Lidingo J18
  6. Girts Zemitis – Nacka HK J18
  7. Roberts Smits – Nykoping J18
  8. Aleksandrs Bebriss-Fedotovs – Vannas J18
  9. Roberts Potapenko – Vannas J18
  • J18 Div. 1
  1. Boriss Tretjakovs – Arboga J18
  2. Romans Semjonovs – Arboga J18

Switzerland

  • NLB
  1. Ronalds Kenins – GC/Kusnacht Lions
  2. Eriks Ozollapa – Basel
  • 1. Amateur Regio League (third tier)
  1. Gundars Berkis – Chiasso
  • Elite Jr. A
  1. Juris Zandovskis – Gotteron U20
  2. Martins Mezulis – Gotteron U20
  3. Ronalds Kenins – GCK/ZSC Lions U20
  • Elite Jr. B
  1. Janis Kenins – Thurgau U20
  • Elite Novizen
  1. Elvis Merkzlikins – Lugano U18
  2. Deivids Sarkanis – Lugano U18
  3. Ivars Punnenovs – Pikes Oberthurgau U18

Written by Didzis Rudmanis

September 6, 2010 at 21:59

Posted in Latvians around the world

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Dinamo signs Tellqvist

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Dinamo Riga struggle in the search for the starting goaltender has finally ended, as the club has signed a contract with 30-year-old Mikael Tellqvist. It has been confirmed by club’s homepage.

Tellqvist returned to Europe after 2008/09 in which he played 21 NHL games. He signed a contract with Ak Bars Kazan of the KHL, but during the season was traded to SM league club Lukko for Finnish goalie Petri Vehanen. Tellqvist has played a total of 113 NHL games.

A few days ago Mikael complained in the media that it is very hard for him to find a club, as there were not many teams left in a need for a goalie. Obviously, Dinamo Riga was not ready to pay, what Tellqvist asked, but luckily both sides managed to come to an agreement.

If we can trust the announcements made by Dinamo coaching staff, Tellqvist is not the last addition to the team before 2010/11 begins. General manager Normunds Sejejs is still searching for another center forward, although it is arguable, how necessary for the team is another center.

Written by Didzis Rudmanis

August 4, 2010 at 12:40

Ivanans signs with Calgary Flames

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31-year-old Latvian enforcer Raitis Ivanans has signed a two year contract with the Calgary Flames, during the first day of free agent frenzy last night. Ivanans will earn 0.6 million USD each of the upcoming two seasons.

Ivanans made his NHL debut in 2005-06, when he was called up from the farm club of the Montreal Canadiens. Already in his first game in the league he got into a brawl against Slovakian giant Zdeno Chara, during which he broke his orbital bone. When he finally healed the injury, Ivanans had just another three appearances with les Habitants.

In 2006-07 Raitis was already in Los Angeles, where he played until the end of the previous season. However, once the season was about to end, Kings board made Ivanans to realize that starting from next season his role will be filled by Kevin Westgarth, who, being almost the same weight and height, produced a lot more points and was also five years younger.

There was a reason for the Kings to be dissatisfied with the play of Ivanans – after 2008-09 club suggested Raitis to lose some weight, so that he would become more agile on the ice. However, although Ivanans lost 20 pounds during the off-season, the previous season was the first one, which Raitis finished without scoring a single point.

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.

Karlsson flying to Calgary, instead of Riga

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Although two weeks ago Dinamo Riga official homepage announced that there is a mutual agreement between the club and 1.98m tall Swedish goalie Henrik Karlsson, after his rights were traded to Calgary Flames during the draft yesterday, he has already announced that he will push himself to the limits, in order to make the team.

“I am really excited that I am going to be a Calgary Flame,” said Karlsson for Flames homepage. “I had heard some rumours about being traded a week ago but I didn’t think too much about it.”

Karlsson is expected to be the back-up goalie for the 33-year-old Miika Kiprusoff, as Vesa Toskala’s four million contract has come to an end. According to Flames homepage, Henrik didn’t seem too worried that Kiprusoff is able of playing 70 up to 75 games a season.

Chronology of Henrik Karlsson and his relation to Dinamo Riga:

  • June 14 – Dinamo Riga announces that there is a mutual agreement and Karlsson will play in Riga.
  • June 14 – The same day Karlsson’s agent Joakim Perssondenies the information released by Dinamo.
  • June 22 – There are reports that Persson is working his sleeves out, in order to negotiate with the Sharks.
  • June 26 – During the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Karlsson’s rights are acquired by the Flames.
  • June 27 – Karlsson announces that he is going for his dream, the NHL.

Tomas Surovy joins Dinamo Riga

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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.