Aivis Kalnins Aivis Kalnins
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Another week of KHL’s regular season has concluded and now it’s time to look at who were the best performing U23 players during the tenth and eleventh week. This edition features five young forward — from Omsk, Chelyabinsk, Cherepovets, Nizhny-Novgorod and Moscow teams.

Arseny Gritsyuk

F, Avangard Omsk 
Weeks 10-11: 6G, 5 (4+1) points 
Season: 24G, 15 (9+6) points

During this two week stretch Arseny Gritsyuk and his Avangard Omsk team had quite a run. They managed to win five in a row to see their hot-streak end only in the final game against Admiral Vladivostok. The 20-year-old forward earned points in all but the final two games during the period. In the first game Gritsyuk managed to score two goals against Kunlun Red Star, first late in the second period he helped his team go up by two and it was a beauty — he first assured that the puck would get away from him through his teammates and then Corban Knight found him with a perfect cross-crease to one-time it into the opposing net. The young forward followed up with a goal just 44 seconds into the third frame when Gritsyuk was sent on a break-away which he capitalised upon. Against Podolsk Vitjaz the youngster helped his team go up by 3:0 beautifully going side-to-side with a wrister from a long range while his teammates positioned themselves in-front of the net. In the second meeting against Kunlun Gritsyuk finished off the game with an empty netter to give his team a 4:1 victory. Against Metallurg Magnitogorsk he recorded his only assist and finished off the period without appearing on the scoresheet in the final two games in a 3:1 victory against Amur Khabarovsk and a 1:2 loss against Admiral.

Vitaly Kravtsov

F, Traktor Chelyabinsk 
Weeks 10-11: 6G, 5 (4+1) points 
Season: 6G, 5 (4+1) points

Vitaly Kravtsov is back and he’s ready to rumble! After returning home he has taken time to adjust to KHL hockey but in his season debut he already performed the way everyone would expect — two goals and an assist in a 5:4 OT victory. First the 21-year-old came up big helping his team to go up by a goal against Barys Nur-Sultan but the biggest and the most important goal in that game came in overtime when Lawrence Pilut simply left the puck for the youngster near the blue-line and he went on to undress the opposing players to then close corner on a back-hander which granted his team a victory and two points in the standings. He then went quiet for a little while his team followed up with two victories and a loss but the young star shined bright in a 2:1 victory over Admiral side where he scored both of the team’s goals. In the middle of the first period Vladimir Tkachyov bolted on a 2-on-1 to find Kravtsov on the opposite side with a pass where no time was wasted and the goalie was beaten for the first time. The second goal arrived in the middle of the second when Traktor had a man advantage — Kravtsov dropped the puck back to the blue-line and went to park himself at the right face-off dot where he received a diagonal pass which landed on his stick for a one-timer.

Adam Liska

F, Severstal Cherepovets 
Weeks 10-11: 7G, 5 (3+2) points 
Season: 30G, 15 (7+8) points

Adam Liska and his Severstal Cherepovets team have been climbing in the standings this season and look to be one of the better teams in the leagues Western conference. During the period they played seven games winning five of those while only conceding the victory twice. The 22-year-old forward was consistent earning himself a grand total of five points. In a 3:2 win against Avtomobilist he didn’t record any points but in the next game he followed up with a goal and an assist helping his team beat Metallurg Magnitogorsk — he first helped Robert Rooba to make it 4:0 in the first period and then put an end to the game with an empty net goal that helped seal a 5:2 win. In a 2:3 loss he recorded another assist while returning to his goal scoring duties two games later against Barys Nur-Sultan — Liska tied the game at 1:1 in the middle of the first period. The youngster had to finish off the against CSKA Moscow where he managed to assure that the team would reabilitate for their previous loss — in the second and on power-play late in the frame Liska positioned himself at the middle of the offensive zone and re-directed Kodola’s shot into the net of the opponent for 2:0, one more goal followed for his team to ultimately earn two points with a 3:0 shutout victory.

Ivan Chekhovich

F, Torpedo Nizhny-Novgorod 
Weeks 10-11: 6G, 4 (4+0) points 
Season: 31G, 13 (9+4) points

Ivan Chekhovich and his Torpedo team had a while where they would play up and down like a wave but still the young forward did well to score four goals in a short period of time while also managing to represent the Russian national team during the international break. The 22-year- old shined bright in a match against Dinamo Minsk where he scored a hat-trick. He started off with a power-play goal which gave his team a 1:0 lead, then in the third he assured it would become 3:0 on man advantage and with surprise to no one — third and final goal of the game was also on power-play that gave his team a 4:0 victory in a very convincing manner. His final goal came against Admiral Vladivostok which was another victory for Torpedo — the youngster was on the ice during his teams power-play but as it ended his teammate passed the puck to him close to the crease and he cashed it in to tie the game which led to a 4:1 win in the match.

Dmitry Rashevsky

F, Dynamo Moscow 
Weeks 10-11: 7G, 4 (2+2) points 
Season: 32G, 28 (16+12) points

Dmitry Rashevsky and Dynamo Moscow have been in top form for almost the full season and this time around it showed once again — the Moscow side had a near perfect period winning six out of seven games. The 21-year-old forward first appeared on the scoresheet against Jokerit Helsinki where he recorded an assist on his team’s first goal. Against CSKA Moscow Rashevsky scored a crucial go-ahead goal in the third period helping his squad to a 3:2 victory. Against Salavat Yulaev Ufa Rashevsky tied the game 25 seconds into the second period when he managed to beat the opposing goalie with a wrist shot which he beat five-hole — Dynamo Moscow came on top there as well with a final score of 3:1. The final point for the young player was against Kunlun Red Star at the end of the third where he assisted Eric O’Dell to put the game away with 4:1.

Aivis Kalnins Aivis Kalnins
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Related clubs

Avangard (Omsk) Avangard (Omsk)
Dynamo (Moscow) Dynamo (Moscow)
Severstal (Cherepovets) Severstal (Cherepovets)
Torpedo (Nizhny Novgorod) Torpedo (Nizhny Novgorod)
Traktor (Chelyabinsk) Traktor (Chelyabinsk)
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