The Canadian forward with a Kazakh passport found his consistency back in the second week of action and scored at least a point in each of last week's three games. Nigel Dawes posted a helper when Avtomobilist had a SO win over Metallurg at home on Monday, then scored the game-winning goal against Salavat Yulaev on Thursday, and finally netted two pucks when Avtomobilist got the best of Neftekhimik in Nizhnekamsk with a 5-3 score. Dawes was instrumental for the Ural side last week, and also thanks to his tremendous efforts Avtomobilist is on the top of the Eastern Conference once again as the team won all its first six games. As a real leader, Dawes is leading his team to new heights and is currently leading the League in points.
Jokerit is struggling this season so far, but some players are trying hard to keep the team afloat. One of them is Niklas Jensen. The Danish international – who surpassed the 20-goal mark last year – had a strong start of the season and was nothing short of excellent in the second week of action. Jensen posted a double on Wednesday when Jokerit had a solid 4-1 win over Severstal in a hard-fought away game. Jensen's second tally of the night was the game-winner for the Finnish side. Two days later, the Dane posted a helper when Jokerit sensationally lost to Torpedo in OT after leading 4-1 halfway through the game. On Sunday, Jokerit lost again – this time to division-rival SKA St. Petersburg – when Jensen had another assist. Lauri Marjamaki has still plenty of time to improve his team's situation in the Western Conference's standings, and perhaps more Niklas Jensen goals and assists will help Jokerit in climbing the ranks.
It has been an eventful week for Traktor. They had a tough Far East trip with two games in Vladivostok and two games in Shenzhen. The Ural side exchanged wins with the hosts on both occasions. However, Jesse Virtanen clearly enjoyed the Eastern atmosphere. After displaying a solid, but scoreless, game in the first week of action, his production skyrocketed in the Far East. There, the Finnish international scored three points in four games, netting the game-winner for Traktor on Saturday when he deflected a shot past Kunlun's goalie Smith in the second period. But of course, a defenseman isn't just expected to score – rather defend – and Virtanen's plus-6 was the best result of the league last week. Traktor had a good start of the season as Peteris Skudra is taking more confidence as the team's bench boss. Virtanen has just been named last week's top defenseman by the League.
One of the League's top defensemen, Juuso Hietanen keeps on appearing on the scoresheet in spite of Dynamo's recent losing streak. The Finnish blueliner is now on a four-game scoring streak. He started the week scoring Dynamo's only goal in a 1-4 losing effort against Western Conference's leader Vityaz. Three days later, the Blue-and-Whites moved to Yaroslavl, but Hietanen posted an assist – pretty much the same motive that run on Saturday when Dynamo lost to Severstal after SO. The leading defenseman never played less than twenty minutes a game and surely Dynamo's veteran head coach, Vladimir Krikunov, will find a way to improve his team's record and the defenseman's plus-minus rating.
Jakub Kovar played only two games last week, and won both, helping Avtomobilist gaining four points in the standings. Naturally, the Czech netminder was instrumental in both cases. Kovar started the week with a 28-save performance against Metallurg when Avtomobilist had a SO win at home. Three days later, the Czech was even more impressive, as he led his team with a 36-save effort for his first shutout of the season. Avtomobilist is now on the top of the Eastern Conference standings, and its international players are a massive part of the success, especially Kovar and Dawes.