Lightning European Report

By Pete Choquette



Czech Republic

D Marek PosmykGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 HC Zlin 458614137(-3)
2001-2002 HC Zlin (Playoffs)600010(-1)
2002-2003 HC Slavia Praha3404414(+14)

Stock: Steady
Since Last Update: 14GP, 0G-1A-1P, 4PIM, (+6)
Posmyk has only managed to notch a single assist since the last Lightning European update, but continues to provide solid defensive play for Slavia Praha, which is firmly established as the second place team on the Czech table. It’s probably safe to say Posmyk’s solid but unspectacular play isn’t exactly inspiring a groundswell of support within the organization to bring him back to North America.

W Ivan Rachunek GPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 HC Zlin4891120141(-3)
2001-2002 HC Zlin (Playoffs)1134727(+1)
2002-2003 HC Zlin408132136NA

Stock: Steady
Since Last Update: 20GP, 3G-9A-12P, 14PIM, NA
Ivan, the undersized brother of Sens defenseman Karel Rachunek, has already bested his season point totals over last season in eight less games. One contributing factor to this gradual improvement in Rachunek’s statistical output is the greater ice time he is receiving on a bad Zlin team which is stuck in second-to-last place on the Extraliga table. He is currently tied for fifth on the team in scoring. Rachunek turns 22 in June, so he will need to step up his play even more next season if he is ever to join his brother in the NHL.


Finland

C/W Karri AkkanenGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 Ilves (Jr.A)50114E
2002-2003 Ilves (Jr.A)1116765(-2)

Stock: Steady
Since Last Update: NA
Ilves Jr. A team, which was mired in dead last in their division in the Finnish Jr. A ranks, hasn’t reported statistics since early November. At that time, Akkanen was amongst the leaders in his division in penalty minutes, which might mean a move to a Canadian junior team next season, should one select him in an import draft, might be a move which would fit his playing style.(**All stats through 11/2)

LW Erikki RajamakiGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 HPK561271975(+9)
2001-2002 HPK (Playoffs)81232(+1)
2002-2003 HPK3343744(-6)

Stock: Steady
Since Last Update: 7GP, 1G-3A-4P, 6PIM, Even
Rajamaki is out until late February or early March with a broken bone in his hand, which is unfortunate because his play had shown marked improvement up until he suffered the break. An older prospect at age 24, it is getting close to time to write off any possibility of Rajamaki ever coming to North America.

RW Eero SomervuoriGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 HPK5625234834(+25)
2001-2002 HPK (Playoffs)82246(+6)
2002-2003 HPK4418193738(+19)

Stock: Steady
Since Last Update: 20GP, 6G-7A-13P, 16PIM, (+11)
Somervuori forms one third of what is arguably the most potent offensive line in the SM-Liiga today. Somervuori is joined on the line with Thrashers prospect center Tommi Santala and Stars prospect left winger Antti Miettinen. Together, the group has been a major contributing factor to HPK rising all the way to first place on the table in Finland’s top league. Somervuori, who is currently tied for third in the league in points and fourth in goals, was recently named the 14th best NHL prospect in Finland by the Hockeysfuture Finland staff. While Eero’s goal scoring is slightly below last season’s torrid pace, he has seen solid improvement in his physical game and work ethic, which hopefully will merit a second look by the Lightning organization.


Germany

D Sascha GocGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 Alb/Spr (AHL)463141742(-4)
2001-2002 NJ/TB (NHL)90000(-2)
2002-2003 Adler Mannheim3912375(+9)

Stock: Steady
Since Last Update: 16GP, 0G-0A-0P, 16PIM, (+2)
Despite the fact Goc hasn’t hit the scoresheet since the last Lightning Europe update, he remains the team’s strongest blueline prospect defensively. Even though Mannheim has slipped out of first place on the table by more than double digits, Goc has steadily improved his plus/minus with solid, physical, and workmanlike defensive play. Given the Lightning’s lack of defensive depth throughout the organization, Goc remains a possibility for the Lightning next season.


Russia

LW Anton ButGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 Yaroslavl4814112512NA
2001-2002 Yaroslavl (Playoffs)5011NANA
2002-2003 Yaroslavl3414122614(+19)

Stock: Dropping Slightly
Since Last Update: 9GP, 2G-1A-3P, 6PIM, NA
After a blistering hot start, Anton But has cooled off greatly in the past month. Nagging injuries have contributed to But’s statistical decline and he has been removed from Blackhawks prospect Pavel Vorobiev’s line, thereby breaking up arguably the most dynamic line combination in the Superleague. After appearing in the fist three legs of the Russian national team’s European tour, But was not selected to appear in the upcoming Sweden Games. Nevertheless, But remains a strong option for the Lightning next season.

C/W Dimitry BezrukovGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 Neftekhimik38561145NA
2002-2003 Spartak Moscow 409122122(-2)

Stock: Steady
Since Last Update: 15GP, 3G-3A-6P, 12PIM, Even
The talented Bezrukov has seen his scoring pace slow again for Spartak, which held the fourth worst record in the Superleague as of January 20th and remains precariously placed to face the relegation tournament. Still, Bezrukov sits atop the team in scoring and his blend of size and talent could make him an attractive option for the Lightning next season.

C/W Alexei GloukhovGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 Khimik (Upper League) 30000NA
2001-2002 Khimik (Playoffs)1000NANA
2002-2003 Khimik (Upper League)1823515E

Stock: Steady
Since Last Update: 6GP, 0G-2A-2P, 9PIM, Even
Gloukhov continues to chip in a point every now and then in fourth line duty for Khimik. His development is likely to be a process that will take the next three to four years as he continues to fill out his lanky frame and, hopefully, his work ethic and competitiveness improves.(**All stats through 12/19)

C/W Dimitry KazionovGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 Dynamo2 (Upper League)11112NANA
2002-2003 Lada Togliatti (Superleague)30004NA

Stock: NA
Sincle Last Update: NA
After an uninspiring half a season stint with Lada’s farm team in the Upper League, in which Kazionov only scored three goals, the big young center has been recalled to the Superleague level where he is performing in a fourth line role.

C/W Alex PolushinGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 CSKA (Upper League) 5024194312NA
2002-2003 Russia (WJC)62684(+9)
2002-2003 CSKA (Superleague)3225718NA

Stock: Steady
Since Last Update: 7GP, 0G-2A-2P, 6PIM, NA
One of the stars of the gold medal Russian WJC team’s top units, Alex Polushin has slowly continued the process of adjusting to the top league his home country has to offer. Polushin is unselfish to a fault, which also has contributed to the drop-off in his point totals from last season. A tireless worker defensively who fiercely drives the net to create traffic in front of opposing goaltenders, Polushin creates opportunities for his linemates to enjoy the limelight.

W Pavel SedovGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 Khimik (Upper League)141120NA
2002-2003 Khimik (Upper League)191564(+2)

Stock: Steady
Since Last Update: 11GP, 0G-3A-3P, 4PIM, (-2)
Playing a role similar to that for Gloukhov, Sedov also continues to chip in the odd point for Khimik in lower line duty. At age 21 though, Sedov does not have the luxury of time his younger teammate does if he ever hopes to make it across the ocean to North America.
(**All stats through 12/19)

* Statistics are difficult to get in a timely fashion from Russia. Players not listed are: Dimitry Kazionov (Lada-2, Upper League), Vitaly Smolianinov (Voronezh, Upper League), Ilya Solarev (Kurgan Mostovike, Upper League), and Vasily Koshechkin (Lada-2, Upper League).


Sweden

D Henrik BergforsGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 Sodertalje (J-20)3744860(+16)
2002-2003 Orebro (Alsvenskan) 1800060(-5)
2002-2003 Sodertalje (SEL) 50000(-2)

Stock: Rising Slightly
Since Last Update: 12GP, 0G-0A-0P, 6PIM, (-4) (Orebro/Sodertalje Combined)
Despite not earning a point for Orebro in the first part of the Alsvenskan schedule, Bergfors was recently recalled by Sodertalje and made his SEL debut. Despite playing for a terrible Orebro club, Bergfors had a relatively respectable plus/minus rating and provides physical edge that many Swedish defensemen aren’t known for. His current role is playing limited minutes on the team’s fourth pairing.

LW Johan HagglundGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 Orebro (Alsvenskan) 36641050(-15)
2002-2003 ORE-HAM (Alsvenskan)19861426E
2002-2003 Hammarby (SuperA) 70000(-1)

Stock: Steady
Since Last Update: 14GP, 1G-1A-2P, 6PIM, (+2)
Hagglund is currently playing fourth line center for Hammarby in the Superalsvenskan after being rescued from Orebro in a trade. Johan now must remain patient and await the opportunity to show his skill as he did in Orebro when he had 14 points in 19 games. If he does, perhaps he can earn a call-up to Modo of the SEL within the next year or two.

D Andreas HolmqvistGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 Hammarby (Alsvenskan) 4211132497(+15)
2002-2003 Linkoping (SEL) 37391228(-9)

Stock: Steady
Since Last Update: 17GP, 1G-4A-5P, 10PIM, (-7)
With his team now dead last in the Elitserian, Holmqvist is struggling like many of his teammates. With his plus/minus sliding, an injury has kept Holmqvist out of the lineup since January 25th, when he was playing on Linkoping’s second pairing. Nevertheless, with a paper-thin defense at all levels of the organization, Holmqvist likely remains at the top of Jay Feaster’s list of prospects to sign this offseason for the Lightning.

G Frederik NorrenaW-L-TGAASv%SO
2001-2002 TPS (SM-Liiga)14-11-51.98.9322
2001-2002 TPS (Playoffs)2-4-01.64.952NA
2002 Finland (Nat’l Team)2-1-00.86.9601
2002-2003 Frolunda (SEL) NA2.35.9091

Stock: Steady
Since Last Update: NA
With the recent acquisition of former Bruins goaltender John Grahame, it is likely Fredrik Norrena’s window of opportunity to play with the Lightning has closed forever. He remains in a tandem starting situation with the popular Henrik Lundqvist for Vastra Frolunda, which holds a commanding seven point lead atop the Elitserian table.


Note: All statistics as of 1-30-2003.