To mark the end of the fifth full month’s play of the ninth season of the Championship, The Kontinental Hockey League has named the best players of the month in four categories.
– Best goaltender, for the second straight month, was Alexander Yeryomenko (Dynamo Moscow), who helped the Blue-and-Whites to triumph in 5 out of 6 outings and kept the opposition off the scoreboard in 4 of them, ending the month with a save percentage of 95.11 and a goals against average of 1.25. His consecutive shutouts, against Neftekhimik on the 12th and Lada on the 14th, were part of an unbeaten spell lasting 141 minutes 10 seconds;
– Best defenseman was Juuso Hietanen (Dynamo Moscow), who made 12 appearances, 10 of which were victories, and contributed 11 points (4+7), 34 shots at goal, 13 blocks and 15 hits. Hietanen’s goal against Metallurg Novokuznetsk on the 7th sealed victory for his team, and he earned an efficiency rating of +9 for the month;
– Best forward, for the third time this season, was Sergei Mozyakin (Metallurg Magnitogorsk), who played in 12 matches, scoring points in 11 and goals in seven. Mozyakin ended the month with a typically mighty haul of 18 points (10+8), which included doubles on the road at CSKA and Dynamo Moscow plus another brace at home to Spartak. He struck the game-winners against Dynamo Moscow, Spartak and Ak Bars, fired off 49 shots at goal (the highest total of any player for January), and sits atop the standings for points and goals scored;
– Best rookie was 20-year-old Lokomotiv forward Artyom Ilyenko, whose account for January shows 12 games, 2 goals (both of which were game-winners, with Ak Bars and Neftekhimik the victims), 16 shots, an average ice time of 10 minutes 43 seconds, and a rating of +4 for the month.