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The Kazakh franchise found a replacement for Darren Dietz, while Simon Hrubec is showing back why he won the Gagarin Cup last year. presents the best players from each country.


Simon Hrubec

G, Avangard, 3 GP, 2 W, 95.18%, GAA 1.35, 1 SO

After a rocky start of the season, Hrubec is currently one of the hottest goalies in the league and broke into the top 10 for both saves percentage and goals-against average. Moreover, with five shutouts, the Czech goalie is tied for third place.

Hrubec started the week stopping 26 shots in Avangard’s losing effort against CSKA on Monday. However, four days later, the Czech showed is worth back and shut Dinamo Minsk out with a 30-save performance for Avangard’s 3:0 win over the Belarussians. On Sunday, the KHL Gagarin Cup reigning champs had another win, this time against Vityaz, with Hrubec saving 23 shots from 24. The playoff is getting closer and closer, and after the Olympic pause, Avangard will need its top goalie to provide top performance. For his efforts, Hrubec was awarded best goalie honors for the last week.


Niko Ojamaki

F, Vityaz, 3 GP, 2 (2+0) points, −4

It wasn’t the best week for the Finnish sniper — he only potted two goals with a minus-4 differential, but while Avangard defeated his Vityaz with a 4:1 score, netting the home team’s lone game of the night, Ojamaki climbed ahead of compatriot Teemu Hartikainen’s best goalscoring campaign to date. Hartikainen earlier held the overall record for goals in one regular season from a Finnish player when he tallied 28 last term, but Ojamaki’s power play goal against the Hawks on Sunday moves him on top. Other than his historic goal against Avangard, Ojamaki also had a tally in Vityaz’s 3:4 SO loss to Dinamo Minsk.


Robin Press

D, Severstal, 3 GP, 2 (1+1) points, +6

Fifth seed Severstal is certainly one of the sensations of the season, with defenseman Robin Press being an important part of this success. In his first season in the KHL, Press has already produced 18 (5+13) points for the Steelers, leading all Severstal’s defensemen for points, time on ice, and shots on goal. Last week, Robin had a goal and a plus-1 rating in Severstal’s loss to Dinamo Minsk, then had an assist and a plus-3 differential when the Steelers thumped Kunlun Red Star with a 7:1 score. Severstal is currently flying high in the Western Conference’s standings — it will be exciting to see what the Andrei Razin’s men will be capable of in the postseason.


Joe Morrow

D, Barys, 3 GP, 4 (1+3) points, +3, 0 PIMs

Despite trading its leading defenseman Darren Dietz to CSKA, Barys is currently one of the hottest teams in the league. With Dietz’s departure, the Kazakh franchise had to fill gaps in its defense, and Joe Morrow stepped in and became one of Barys’ defensive leaders. Last week, the Canadian defenseman scored points in all games, including netting a critical goal in Barys’ 3:2 win over Metallurg last Wednesday. He also had assists in Barys’ victories over Dinamo Riga and Metallurg again — this time on the road. Currently, Morrow is on a four-game scoring streak, while Barys is firmly in the East’s eighth place in the standings. The defenseman, at his first year in the league, leads all Barys’ current defensemen for points and average time on ice.

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Related clubs

Avangard (Omsk) Avangard (Omsk)
Barys (Nur-Sultan) Barys (Nur-Sultan)
Vityaz (Moscow Region) Vityaz (Moscow Region)
Severstal (Cherepovets) Severstal (Cherepovets)
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