The last games of the KHL’s 11th season took place on unfamiliar ice. Torpedo travelled to England for a pair of exhibition games against Team Great Britain and had a win and a loss against the World Championship hopeful. On Saturday, the Russians went down 4-5 in an eventful game in Nottingham, but Torpedo bounced back to record a 5-2 success in Sheffield the following day. With several key players missing, the trip provided an opportunity for several of the team’s prospects to impress and forward Donat Stalnov was among those who caught the eye. He scored twice in Nottingham and relished the chance to play with the senior team. “It was a good experience for me personally,” he said. “There was a bit of a carnival atmosphere out there and it felt good. It’s always interesting to play against new and different opponents.”
Playing in Britain also gave a chance to catch up with former Torpedo and Dinamo Minsk forward Charles Linglet, who spent last season with Cardiff Devils. In an exclusive interview with KHL.ru, the naturalized Belarusian spoke about his time in the KHL and his unexpected arrival on the international stage with Team Belarus. He also talked about what it takes to adapt and thrive to hockey in Europe after moving from North America: “There are a lot of factors. It might be your personality type, who you’re with on the team, how your family settles,” he said. “I can understand why some guys find it tough. If you’re an established NHL player, then coming to the KHL maybe isn’t what you’re hoping for. For me it was the opposite, I was playing in the AHL and going there was an upgrade. I was starting my career in the KHL with more positivity. I think a lot depends on your mind set, how you’re approaching the league.”
The IIHF U18 World Championship came to an end in Sweden with Russia coming second to the host nation. A thrilling final edged this way and that before the Swedes snaffled a 4-3 verdict in overtime. Russia’s roster drew heavily on the MHL and featured SKA’s forward Vasily Podkolzin, who made three KHL appearances last season. He captained the team and had one goal and three assists in the tournament. Goalie Vsevolod Skotnikov also got a sniff of life in the big league, featuring as an unused understudy for CSKA during the campaign.
Amur confirmed that two of its Czech imports will remain at the club for another season. Forward Tomas Zahorna, Amur’s leading scorer in the KHL era, is back for a fifth campaign. The 31-year-old has 119 (48+71) points from 233 appearances so far. Defenseman Michal Jordan, 28, signed a two-year deal. Last season he had 15 (2+13) points in 54 games.