The regular season is underway in Europe. Here is how some of the Flyers prospects playing in Europe have done so far (note: no reports available yet on players from the RSL– Alexander Drozdetsky (CSKA), Konstantin Rudenko (Yaroslavl), and 2001 overage draftee Andrei Razin (Dynamo)).
Roman Malek: Malek, the starting goaltender for Slavia Prague, suffered a frightening injury this weekend. Losing his mask in a scramble around the crease, he was struck flush in the face moments later by a slapshot. The initial report I have heard is that his cheekbone was shattered and he suffered a concussion from his head hitting the ice.
Milan Kopecky: Kopecky is on loan from Extraliga’s Slavia Prague to talent-starved Division One Beroun.
Pavel Kasparik : Kasparik, who struggled almost all of last season, is off to a much better start in the early going of the 2001-02 Extraliga campaign. In 5 games played for Sparta Prague, he has 3 goals.
Radovan Somik : The Slovakian winger, who would have been with the Phantoms this season had he been able to come to contract terms with the Flyers, is still playing for Zlin. He missed the start of the season with a minor injury, but has played in the last two games. He has a goal and an assist.
Antero Niittymäki: Defending champion TPS Turku has stumbled out of the gates, winning just one of their first five games. Fredrik Norrena started in goal the first several games. Niittymäki has started the last two. Both have been victimized by a lack of goal support and some loose play in front of them. Niittymäki’s shutout of SaiPa stands as TPS’ lone highlight of the young season. Goaltending stats are volatile this early in the season– Niittymäki’s are a 1.99 goals against average and a .940 save percentage.
Marko Kauppinen : So far, it’s been the same old story for Kauppinen– he’s been a disappointment. The defenseman, now a teammate of Niittymäki’s on TPS, has yet to register a point in 5 matches. More importantly, he has been turnover prone. He is a team-low minus-three. It could be worse but for some big stops by Norrena and Niittymäki.
Jussi Timonen : No report yet. He’s with KalPa of Division One.
David Nyström : Nyström is still playing at the Allsvenskan level, but has moved north, from Troja/Ljungby to Skellefteå. In his last match for SAIK against Sundsvall, Nyström scored a hat trick.
Dennis Seidenberg : The Adler Mannheim (DEL) defenseman has started on the team’s first pairing in all five games this season. He has 3 points (1 goal)and 6 PIM so far, to go along with a +1 rating.