Aivis Kalnins Aivis Kalnins
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Third week of KHL’s regular season has concluded and now it’s time to look at who were the best performing U23 players. This week’s edition features all fresh faces, three forwards — all from different teams, Neftekhimik, Vityaz and Dinamo Minsk as well as two young and talented goalies — one from SKA and one from Dinamo Minsk.

Vladislav Shutov

F, Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk
Week: 3 G, 2 (1+1) points
Season: 8 G, 4 (2+2) points

Vladislav Shutov was amongst the best performing young players even though his team managed to win only one of three games they played. The 20-year-old recorded a goal and an assist. His only goal came in his team’s 1:3 loss against Traktor Chelyabinsk when he assured that Neftekhimik wouldn’t be shutout and put in the so-called “honorary’’ goal. Ansel Galimov and Evgeny Mityakin made everything happen and created chaos in front of the net, all Shutov had to do was put in the rebound and he managed to do that well. His only assist this week came in a 5:2 victory against Vityaz when he helped to set-up Alexei Puzanov’s goal to make it 4:2 in the third period — Shutov entered the zone and flicked the puck to his partner who finished off the counter attack with a goal.

Alexander Yaremchuk

F, Vityaz Podolsk
Week: 3 G, 2 (1+1) points
Season: 9 G, 4 (3+1) points

Alexander Yaremchuk and his Vityaz Podolsk team hasn’t had the easiest start of the season and this past week proved that — three games and only a single victory. They lost against Neftekhimik, however weren’t far from beating Ak Bars and only lost by a single goal. The 22-year-old right winger earned an assist in a game where his team lost with a score of 2:5 — late in the first period Yaremchuk entered the zone, quickly found Viktor Antipin who was following him who then helped to get the puck to Daniel Audette who gave his team a 1:0 victory which in the end wasn’t enough to try and earn two points. His goal for the week and the third of the season was scored in a 3:2 victory against Lokomotiv Yaroslavl — he himself began a combination on man advantage and when the power-play time ended, puck returned to him he was in a perfect position to cash it in making it 2:0.

Yaroslav Askarov

G, SKA St. Petersburg
Week: 1 G, 1.00 GAA, .944 SVS%
Season: 1 G, 1.00 GAA, .944 SVS%

Askarov began his season behind two of SKA’s top goalies — Lars Johansson who has been spectacular so far and struggling Alexander Samonov. The young goalie prospect had dressed only once so far prior to his season debut against Amur Khabarovsk but when he stepped on the ice, he was spectacular and managed to earn his team a 5:1 victory. In that game Askarov made 17 saves on 18 shots allowing only a single goal against. Opponents’ only goal in that game came while SKA were shorthanded. So far this season the young goalie has also spent time playing for farm club — SKA-Neva St. Petersburg where he has played two games and has a GAA of 1.50 as well as a .940 SVS%.

Alexei Kolosov

G, Dinamo Minsk
Week: 3 G, 2.66 GAA, .918 SVS%
Season: 6 G, 2.52 GAA, .921 SVS%

Alexei Kolosov has been the surprise of the season for Dinamo Minsk, at age of 19 he has earned the starting job and has the potential to see plenty more ice time. He and his team played three games this past week and Kolosov started them all. In the first two Kolosov allowed only a single goal against — 0:1 loss with Salavat Yulaev Ufa, a shutout victory against Traktor Chelyabinsk. His third game of the week wasn’t as successful — a 3:7 loss against Avtomobilist on the road but each negative has a positive aspect as well, a learning experience for the young goalie in his 15 game long KHL career can come in handy down the road. He has earned the trust of his coaching staff and we’re assured to see him in net for many more games this season.

Alexander Suvorov

F, Dinamo Minsk
Week: 3 G, 1 (1+0) points
Season: 8 G, 1 (1+0) points

Suvorov has been alternating between the main team — Dinamo Minsk and Dinamo Molodecno squad and has taken part in ten games combined so far this season. Prior to this week he was yet to score a goal or earn an assist in his fresh KHL career at age of 18. As they say — hard work pays off and that’s exactly what happened for him. His maiden KHL goal came in a game where his team lost 3:7 but he was the man that scored the first goal of that very same game and what a beauty it was — Dmitry Buinitsky received a stretch pass on the right side of the neutral zone, quickly passed the puck to Jakub Krejcik who entered the zone, made a small deke towards Suvorov and then quickly passed the puck to the young forward who sniped the puck into the far corner from a very tight angle.

Aivis Kalnins Aivis Kalnins
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Related clubs

Vityaz (Moscow Region) Vityaz (Moscow Region)
Dinamo (Minsk) Dinamo (Minsk)
Neftekhimik (Nizhnekamsk) Neftekhimik (Nizhnekamsk)
SKA (Saint Petersburg) SKA (Saint Petersburg)
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