Aivis Kalnins Aivis Kalnins
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The seventh week of KHL’s regular season has concluded and now it’s time to look at who were the best performing U23 players. This edition features returnees from Dynamo Moscow and Dinamo Minsk. Representatives from HK Sochi and Avangard Omsk as well as a youngster who got his maiden KHL goal.

Amir Garayev

F, HK Sochi
Week 7: 3G, 3 (3+0) points
Season: 21G, 7 (6+1) points

This past week Amir Garayev suited up in three games for his HK Sochi side, unfortunately for his team — all three games were lost but the player himself managed to score goals in two out of three matches. In the first game against Traktor Chelyabinsk, the 20-year-old managed to tie the game to make it 1:1 — after a zone exit was created he was quick on the puck and ran away to beat the opposing goalie with a backhander. The third game of the week was the best for him personally — two goals were scored. Amir gave his team a 3:2 lead in the first period — after a long cycle of the puck, he entered the zone on the left side as a cross-ice pass came to him and the puck was put past the goalie with a low slapshot. The second goal in that game came at the middle point of the game Garayev received a pass while setting himself up in the right face-off dot, he spun around and backhanded the puck into the net. High a scoring affair in that game, however, Sochi lost in OT with a final score of 7:6.

Arseny Gritsyuk

F, Avangard Omsk
Week 7: 2G, 3 (2+1) points
Season: 15G, 8 (4+4) points

Arseny Gritsyuk and his Avangard Omsk team stepped on the ice for two games this week taking home two hard-fought victories. The youngster himself had a great game against HK Sochi where he managed to earn two out of three of his points. He first gave his team a 1:0 lead with a simple wrist shot from the distance as he entered the offensive zone. His second point was a secondary assist during a delayed penalty — he found Nail Yakupov who then continued the cycle to Oliwer Kaski who blasted the puck into the net from below the left face-off circle. In the second game of the week against Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod, he scored his team’s lone goal that turned out to also be the game-winning goal — two shots from a sharp angle and on the second attempt Gritsyuk was in front of the net to grab the puck and cash in on a rebound situation.

Dmitry Rashevsky

F, Dynamo Moscow
Week 7: 2G, 3 (2+1) points
Season: 19G, 19 (13+6) points

Dmitry Rashevsky is back again! This time he and Dynamo Moscow spent the week playing two games where the league’s young star managed to boost his point total by three while his team split the win/loss total in half. In a loss against Traktor Chelyabinsk Rashevsky got a goal on power-play which pulled his team back to a single goal deficit — Dynamo entered the zone and Vadim Shipachyov eyed Rashevsky who was going towards the net, the puck was flicked towards him and he beat the goalie in close combat and in a beautiful manner. In 5:4 OT victory against Ak Bars, the 21-year-old got a goal and assist. The helper came at the right moment for Dynamo to tie the score, Rashevsky took it all upon himself just to pass at the last moment so that Andrei Mironov could put the puck in an empty side of the net. Their opponents later tied the game giving Rashevsky an opportunity to become the main hero of the game — Slava Voynov managed to get a stumbling puck to him and the race towards the net began, he skated in the zone and reached a safe distance to shoot and wristed the puck past Timur Bilyalov to give his team the two points on road.

Ilya Usov

F, Dinamo Minsk
Week 7: 3G, 3 (1+2) points
Season: 19G, 14 (5+9) points

Ilya Usov is another returnee to the young gun ranks — this week he participated in three games in which two victories were earned and a loss was recorded. In the 2:1 OT loss against Spartak Moscow, he didn’t register on the scoresheet but in the next two he turned things around. In the 3:2 win against Admiral Vladivostok, his first assist of the week led to 1:0 beginning Dinamo Minsk’s run to a victory. Against Barys Nur-Sultan Usov first helped to tie the game while helping to move the puck away from the corner of the rink. Later in the game score had to be tied once again and that is exactly what he did — first Taylor Beck masterfully held on to the puck while skating around the whole offensive zone, then when near the blue-line the Canadian forward decided to shoot and Usov was right in front of the net to finish off the sequence and get his first goal of the week.

Dmitry Ovchinnikov

F, Sibir Novosibirsk
Week 7: 3G, 1 (1+0) points
Season: 6G, 1 (1+0) points

Newcomer Dmitry Ovchinnikov has spent time between junior hockey and KHL so far this season, but this past week he dressed in three games while seeing ice-time twice, while Sibir managed to lose in all three games. The 19-year-old forward got his first KHL goal in the final game of the week against Vityaz Podolsk — after a victory in the face-off Trevor Murphy found himself with the puck at the blue-line where he used his slap-shot and as the puck flew towards the net Ovchinnikov deflected the puck and it ricocheted into the net.

Aivis Kalnins Aivis Kalnins
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Related clubs

Avangard (Omsk) Avangard (Omsk)
Dinamo (Minsk) Dinamo (Minsk)
Dynamo (Moscow) Dynamo (Moscow)
Sibir (Novosibirsk Region) Sibir (Novosibirsk Region)
HC Sochi (Sochi) HC Sochi (Sochi)
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