Renews contract with HC Sochi
After a strong debut season in the league with 21 goals scored, the 26-years-old forward renewed his ties with the Black Sea franchise. Rumors run wildly throughout the whole summer for the Swedish scorer, but in the end, Malte Stromwall took the most logical step and inked a new deal with Sochi.
Head coach Alexander Andriyevsky will have another string to his bow with Stromwall: the team can now count on six international players, and some rotation is mandatory for the Black Sea side. Considering the roster Sochi has amassed, they have a huge chance to get back to the playoffs after failing qualification in the 2019-2020 season.
From Hartford Wolf Pack to Traktor Chelyabinsk
After having a rocky 2019-2020 campaign split between the AHL, the KHL, and the VHL, hot prospect Vitaly Kravtsov is now back again in Chelyabinsk. However, if compared with last season, there is a huge difference: Traktor’s head coach is again Anvar Gatiyatullin, the coach with whom Kravtsov had the most success.
The Vladivostok native is expected to play a leading role with Traktor and help the team reaching the playoffs again. In 2018, as a rookie, Kravtsov had an impressive 11 (6+5) points in 16 playoffs games for Chelyabinsk. Traktor’s fans hope that the young forward will become this kind of player again under Gatiyatulin.
From Iowa Wild to Dinamo Minsk
The Belarusian franchise is amassing an exciting roster for the new season, and signing the young American defenseman is another testament to the team’s intentions for the upcoming campaign. Brennan Menell, who recently turned 23, had 47 (5+42) points in 57 regular-season games with the Iowa Wild of the AHL and played with the big boys on five occasions.
Menell may become for Dinamo what Nick Bailen was a few years ago: a top-quality offensive defenseman who can score and lead the team’s powerplay from the blue line. Moreover, he’s still young and has many long years of career in front of himself.
The Chinese franchise, who will play next season’s games in Mytishchi, has finally announced the first 21 players to have signed a full-time contract. Among the list — all the players hail either from Russia or Belarus — there are several exciting names. One of the most-easily recognized ones is Alexei Kruchinin. The flamboyant forward has played more than 350 games at the KHL level with SKA, Lokomotiv, Yugra, Traktor, and Salavat Yulaev.
Another forward worth of consideration is Anton Glinkin. The Chelyabinsk native has a Gagarin Cup triumph with Ak Bars Kazan on his CV, and an experience of almost 700 KHL games. Experience will abound on the blue line with the signing of Oleg Piganovich and Sergei Gimayev.
In goal, the duties will be split between Dmitry Shikin and Alexander Lazushin. Yaroslavl native Lazushin, 32, has already guarded the crease for the Dragons in the 2018-2019 season, accumulating 39 appearances for the Chinese franchise. Most recently, Lazushin stopped pucks for his native Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.
Head coach Alex Kovalev will have a long season in front of himself, but the pre-season games showed that the Chinese franchise is ready to surprise the Eastern Conference.