Sign with Dinamo Riga
The Latvian franchise is once again among the most active on the transfer market and is quickly filling its roster with high-quality international players. Ondrej Vitasek will be at his fourth team in four KHL seasons as he just joined Riga after one-year stints in Khanty-Mansiysk, China, and Khabarovsk. The veteran blueliner, who represented the Czech Republic at the 2018 Olympic Games in South Korea, will look at his first postseason qualification in his career in the league.
Unlike Vitasek, Zack Mitchell has already had his first taste of KHL playoffs last time around, when he helped Neftekhimik reaching the postseason scoring 17 goals — the most for the Tatarstan franchise. The Latvian franchise will probably want to recreate the duo of Mitchell and Matt White, who was the top-scorer for the Wolves with 34 (15+19) points in 60 regular-season games.
Signing Vitasek, Mitchell, and White, Dinamo — who is looking forward to hosting the 2021 KHL All-Star Game — made three spot-on acquisitions that may pay off, considering their impact last year on their respective teams. However, that’s not everything: they also announced having signed JC Lipon off the Manitoba Moose of the AHL. An aggressive forward who can light the lamp, Lipon is most likely going to replace Colton Gillies in the Riga lineup.
From Prince Albert Raiders to Dinamo Minsk
Last year, Dinamo Minsk decided to start rebuilding, giving more time on ice to young players. As a result, a few players, like Vladislav Yeryomenko, had a significant jump in their development. This year, the Belarusian franchise is building on this concept and called back to Minsk even more prospects from the North American leagues.
After announcing several youngsters back at home in July, this week was the time of Alexei Protas. The 2001-born forward spent the latest two seasons with the Prince Albert Raiders in the WHL, leading the team last year with 80 (31+49) points in 58 regular-season games.
It will be interesting to check whether the young forward will be able to adapt to pro hockey the same way he could do with the Canadian junior leagues — where he had indisputable success.
From Toronto Marlies to Lokomotiv Yaroslavl
The towering forward is back to Yaroslavl after spending a full season in North America. The 24-years-old managed to score his first goal in the NHL in his debut game but failed to earn a full-time spot with the Maple Leafs. However, Yegor Korshkov has now a fantastic chance to prove his worth with another season with the Railwaymen — hopefully without injuries this time. Korshkov, whose father played professionally in the top-flight Russian and Kazakh leagues, has accumulated an experience of 209 games at the KHL level.