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 Praha4004416(+13)
2002-2003 HC Slavia Praha (Playoffs)4123NANA

Stock: Steady
Since Last Update: 10GP, 2G-1A-3P, NA, NA (Regular Season and Playoffs)
Slavia Praha concluded the regular season in the Czech Republic’s top league at second on the table, and swept seventh seeded Vsetin in the first round of the Extraliga playoffs. After putting up a meager 4 assists during the regular season, the towering Posmyk has kicked off the playoffs by notching 2 goals and an assist in the first four games of the playoffs including a goal and an assist in a 5-1 Slavia victory.

W Ivan RachunekGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 HC Zlin4891120141(-3)
2001-2002 HC Zlin (Playoffs)1134727(+1)
2002-2003 HC Zlin489162452NA

Stock: Steady
Since Last Update:8GP, 1G-3A-4P, 16PIM, NA
Rachunek and Zlin’s season ended with the team finishing in 13th of 14 teams on the Czech table. Ivan, the diminutive brother of Ottawa’s Karel Rachunek, matched his career high in goals and set a new personal best for points. He finished the season tied for fourth in scoring on Zlin and was voted the most popular player on the team in an internet fan poll. Next season will be key for Rachunek if he ever hopes 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 has not reported statistics since November 2nd, 2002.(**All stats through 11/2)

LW Erikki RajamakiGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 HPK561271975(+9)
2001-2002 HPK (Playoffs)81232(+1)
2002-2003 HPK40437100(-7)

Stock: Steady
Since Last Update: 7GP, 0G-0A-0P, 56PIM, (-1)
Rajamaki returned to the lineup for HPK on February 18th against HIFK after missing more than a dozen games with a broken bone in his hand. Playing mostly on the third line this season, Rajamaki led the team during the regular season with 100 penalty minutes, including 25 PIMs in HPK’s final contest, a 5-3 victory over TPS.

RW Eero SomervuoriGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 HPK5625234834(+25)
2001-2002 HPK (Playoffs)82246(+6)
2002-2003 HPK5621244542(+25)

Stock: Steady
Since Last Update:12GP, 3G-5A-8P, 4PIM, (+6)
The dream regular season for HPK concluded with the team improbably racing 11 points past runner-up Jokerit to claim the number one spot on the SM-Liiga table. Somervuori, whose name has been mentioned in recent deadline trade rumors, finished 8th in the league in points and tied for 11th in goals. In the process, he and his linemates Antti Miettinen and Tommi Santala solidified their status as one of the most deadly lines in all of Europe, and they now appear a lock to join the Finnish national team’s World Championship squad after the season. With Miettinen and Santala likely to cross the Atlantic to play for the Dallas Stars and Atlanta Thrashers organizations next season, respectively, now might be an excellent time to lure Somervuori to the shores of Tampa Bay, should General Manager Jay Feaster choose to go that route.


Germany

D Sascha GocGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 Alb/Spr (AHL)463141742(-4)
2001-2002 NJ/TB (NHL)90000(-2)
2002-2003 Adler Mannheim5013487(+10)

Stock: Steady
Since Last Update: 11GP, 0G-1A-1P, 12PIM, (+1)
Mannheim’s season finished with the club in 4th place on the DEL table, with a tough first round matchup with Nurnberg in the first round on Adler’s plate. While Goc provided his club with the solid defense they needed throughout the 2002-2003 regular season campaign, it’s hard to believe this is the same player who had 10 goals and 39 points in 55 games just two years ago for the Albany River Rats in the AHL.


Russia

LW Anton ButGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 Yaroslavl4814112512NA
2001-2002 Yaroslavl (Playoffs)5011NANA
2002-2003 Yaroslavl4316132916(+14)

Stock: Steady
Since Last Update: 9GP, 2G-1A-3P, 2PIM, -5
But, who had failed to point over a span of 23 days between January 6th and 29th, finally got back on track for the defending champion Lokomotiv on February 29th when he managed a goal and an assist against Sibir Novobirsk in a dominating 7-2 Yaroslavl victory. With just two games to go in the Superleague regular season, Yaroslavl has clinched the top spot on the league’s table and will be the number one seed in the upcoming playoffs. Anton’s name has also been mentioned in recent trade deadline rumors.

C/W Dimitry BezrukovGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 Neftekhimik38561145NA
2002-2003 Spartak Moscow4910122224(-4)

Stock: Steady
Since Last Update: 9GP, 1G-0A-1P, 0PIM, (-4)
Despite the efforts of Bezrukov, who still leads the club in scoring, Spartak is now mathematically incapable of avoiding the relegation tournament. The team’s 145 goals-against ranks them with the second worst defense in the league, making Dimitry’s -4 rating somewhat respectable under the circumstances.

C/W Alexei GloukhovGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 Khimik (Upper League) 30000NA
2001-2002 Khimik (Playoffs)1000NANA
2002-2003 Khimik (Upper League)2834724(+4)

Stock: Steady
Since Last Update: 10GP, 1G-1A-2P, 9PIM, (+4)
Gloukhov has played solid two-way hockey in the last month and a half to cement his spot in the Khimik line-up.(**All stats through 2/10)

C/W Dimitry KazionovGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 Dynamo2 (Upper League)11112NANA
2002-2003 Lada Togliatti (Superleague)50116NA

Stock: Steady
Sincle Last Update: 2GP, 0G-1A-1P, 2PIM, NA
Kazionov continues to be shuffled between Lada’s Superleague and farm clubs, but that may change next season. With Red Wings prospect Igor Grigorienko out of the lineup with an injury, Kazionov assumed first line duties for Lada in a 2-0 victory over the Moscow Dynamo in his last game (2/18). He picked up an assist on a clean faceoff win which led to one Togliatti goal, and according to Hockeysfuture’s Max Dostoyevsky, was strong in the faceoff circles and around the net creating scoring chances all game long. Lada has clinched a playoff berth for the upcoming Superleague playoffs and currently sits at 5th on the table.

C/W Alex PolushinGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 CSKA (Upper League) 5024194312NA
2002-2003 Russia (WJC)62684(+9)
2002-2003 CSKA (Superleague)4136918NA

Stock: Steady
Since Last Update: 9GP, 1G-1A-2P, 0PIM, NA
Polushin has chipped in a goal and an assist for CSKA since the last update, and was named an alternate for the national team’s Swedish leg of the European tour. His power play goal on January 29th stood as the game winner in a 4-2 victory over Severstal Cherepovets. CSKA is currently riding a five game winning streak as the club desperately tries to jump into the top eight in the league and secure a playoff spot. With two games left to go, Tikhonov’s team sits three points behind Ufa in 9th place.

W Pavel SedovGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 Khimik (Upper League)141120NA
2002-2003 Khimik (Upper League)211564(+2)

Stock: Steady
Since Last Update: 2GP, 0G-0A-0P, 0PIM, Even
Once again, Pavel Sedov has fallen out of Khimik’s Upper League lineup. Unlike his younger prospect teammate Gloukhov, whose play has gotten stronger as the season has progressed, Sedov has once again been banished to the third tier league. It’s hard to argue with Khimik’s GM’s decision, because the team currently sits in second in its conference in the Upper League.
(**All stats through 2/10)

* Please bear with us here at Hockeysfuture’s Lightning page. Statistics are difficult to get in a timely fashion from Russia. Players not listed are: Vitaly Smolianinov (Voronezh, Upper League), Ilya Solarev, and Vasily Koshechkin (Olimpia Kirovo-Chepetsk). Ilya Solarev failed in a tryout with Molot Perm, and two Upper League clubs, and is currently only practicing with Molot’s farm team.

** Where are the now? Former Lightning prospect Vadim Epanchintsev was third in the Superleague in scoring for Severstal Cherepovets as of February the 28th.


Sweden

D Henrik BergforsGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 Sodertalje (J-20)3744860(+16)
2002-2003 Orebro (Alsvenskan) 1800060(-5)
2002-2003 Sodertalje (SEL) 80000(-2)

Stock: Rising Slightly
Since Last Update: 3GP, 0G-0A-0P, 0PIM, Even
Sodertajle’s season ended with a thud on the final day of the regular season as they lost a pivotal game against Leksands which sent the winner to the Elitserian playoffs. Bergfors became a regular on the Sodertalje fourth pairing after being called up from Orebro due to an injury to former Lightning property Peter Ahola. While Bergfors’ first few games in Sweden’s top league were not terribly impressive, the experience will no doubt prove invaluable in the bruising defenseman’s maturation process.

LW Johan HagglundGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 Orebro (Alsvenskan) 36641050(-15)
2002-2003 ORE-HAM (Alsvenskan)19861426E
2002-2003 Hammarby (SuperA)141452(+3)

Stock: Rising Slightly
Since Last Update: 7GP, 1G-4A-5P, 2PIM, (+4)
After not hitting the scoresheet in the first seven games of the Superalsvenskan schedule, Hagglund registered five points in the final seven contests to help Hammarby secure the top spot on the Superalsvenskan standings. In nearly doubling his statistical output of last season, and improving on an abysmal -15 rating, Hagglund looks poised to have a real breakout season next year, as he hopes to earn a promotion to MODO of the Elite League.

D Andreas HolmqvistGPGAPPIM+/-
2001-2002 Hammarby (Alsvenskan) 4211132497(+15)
2002-2003 Linkoping (SEL)43491328(-13)

Stock: Steady
Since Last Update: 6GP, 1G-0A-1P, 0PIM, (-4)
The ups and downs of Andreas Holmqvist’s rookie season in the Elitserian finally ended with Linkoping finishing in dead last in the standings. Linkoping’s 166 goals-against was tied for the worst mark in the league, and contributed to a distasteful -15 rating for the tall, lean former Hammarby defenseman. Jay Feaster recently mentioned the Lightning were considering signing Holmqvist for next season, and the flashes of brilliance the young defenseman showed, especially early in the season, show that Andreas has a promising future once he finally comes to North America.

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
2002-2002 Frolunda (SEL)NA2.42.9071

Stock: Falling
Since Last Update: NA
Norrena has been relegated to the role of backup goaltender for the Elitserian playoffs giving way to Henrik Lundqvist for Vastra Frolunda. His chances of coming to North America were all but finished with the Lightning’s acquisition of John Grahame. Hindsight being what it is at the end of this dismal season for the Finnish netminder, a two-way contract in North America doesn’t sound so bad now, does it?


Note: All statistics as of 3-11-2003.