From Metallurg to SKA
A forward who spent his best seasons wearing the SKA uniform returns to St. Petersburg. Nikolai Prokhorkin played several seasons within the CSKA system, but he played most convincingly for the St. Petersburg franchise. It was on the Neva’s shores that he scored a record 41 points, and the year before he went to PyeongChang, where he won the Olympic gold medal. Since then, Prokhorkin has changed three clubs, including the Los Angeles Kings, for which Nikolai left the Russian Northern Capital. However, upon his return from overseas, the forward’s stats faded. Contrary to expectations he didn’t become a leader for Magnitka and in Avangard he was in the shadow ofCorban Knight. But in SKA, where there were problems with centers during the playoffs, Prokhorkin may well settle in the first line. Despite his instability, Nikolai remains an outstanding player in a deficit position.
From Dynamo Moscow to Lokomotiv
Ivan Bocharov made a rather radical decision for his career. A native Dynamo player, who is difficult to imagine in any uniform but the White-and-Blue one, moved 250 kilometers to Yaroslavl. In the system of his native club, he became the best goalie in the JHL, won the Cup with the VHL farm team grabbing the playoffs MVP title, and in the KHL he participated in the All-Star Game. Bocharov has failed to do just one thing: become a reliable starting goalie who can be relied on in the elimination stage. In last year’s Gagarin Cup playoffs, he lost his competition to 41-year-old Alexander Yeryomenko. At the same time, Bocharov himself can hardly be called a young goalie: next season will be his sixth in the KHL. The move to Lokomotiv is an attempt to get out of his comfort zone and thus get a useful shake-up.
From Dynamo Moscow to Lokomotiv
To acquire Bocharov, Lokomotiv had to move to Dynamo the rights to Ilya Konovalov, who is still under contract with Edmonton, as well as Pavel Kudryavtsev. Both, it should be noted, are products of the Yaroslavl academy. And while signing Konovalov is a matter of the foreseeable future, Kudryavtsev has already officially become a Dynamo player. In the 2019-2020 season, this forward scored 14 times for the Railwaymen and thus attracted the attention of the Russian national team’s staff. He even scored at the Euro Hockey Tour level, after which he won the “Debut of the Year” award assigned by the RIHF. However, the last two seasons for the 24-year-old forward were not as successful: seven goals under Andrei Skabelka and Igor Nikitin, half as many as under Dmitry Kvartalnov. However, Kudryavtsev made his debut for Lokomotiv under Alexei Kudashov, Dynamo’s current bench boss. He should know how to get the right-handed forward’s sniper flair back.
From Dynamo Moscow to Lokomotiv
And another transition between the Western Conference rivals. In this case, the Dynamo player moved to Lokomotiv as an unrestricted free agent. The former WJC champion is already 31 years old, which means he has acquired the right to choose his own place of work. Andrei Sergeyev had a much less productive season than 2020-2021, when he set a personal best in points. His playoff statistics are particularly contrasting: 1 (0+1) point in 10 games versus 10 (4+6) points in 10 games. There’s a very real reason for that, however: with the arrival of Vyacheslav Voynov, Sergeyev has lost his key power-play role. It’s hard to compete with one of the KHL’s best offensive defenders. On the other hand, the vacancy is open for Lokomotiv. For years, the team from Yaroslavl has been looking for a creative blueliner to help the team with the man advantage. No luck so far. Will Sergeyev fill this niche?
From Torpedo to Dynamo Moscow
Sergeyev and Voynov are gone. However, the Muscovites won’t be without defenders who can produce points on the blue line. Yegor Martynov is coming over from Nizhny Novgorod. However, in Torpedo, which last season was full of adventurous defensemen, he showed himself in a different way. From his time with Avangard, we remember Martynov for his powerful blue line blows, a player who plays a lot on the power play and gets 20+ points a season. Bob Hartley didn’t like this, but that’s only because of the Canadian coach’s specific system, which requires excellent skating, something Yegor can’t boast. In Nizhny Novgorod, even if he only scored two goals, Martynov became the most valuable player on David Nemirovsky’s squad with a plus-12 differential. By comparison, Sweden’s Theodore Lennstrom had minus-8.
From Timra (SHL) to Torpedo
One of Martynov’s teammates last season was Ziyat Paigin. He was more productive than Dynamo’s newly-signed blueliner, scoring six more points, but he didn't have the same utility rating. Paigin has spent the last couple of months in Sweden. To extend his season, the 27-year-old guard signed a contract with Timra. The team, featuring former KHL forwards Robin Hanzl and Ty Rattie of the KHL, finished in last place in the regular season and might have dropped down to the second-tier Swedish league, but Paigin helped the team stay in the elite level. As originally expected, after a short-term Scandinavian business trip, the 27-year-old defenseman returned to Torpedo. Now he will work with Igor Larionov.
From KalPa (Liiga) to HC Sochi
Along with Paigin, another defenseman returns to Russia from Europe. However, he didn’t return to Khabarovsk, where Nikita Pivtsakin spent last season, but landed in Sochi. For the 2011 WJC gold medalist, this is his sixth club in the last four years. The experienced blueliner should make this line of Andrei Nazarov’s team more reliable. But where has Pivtsakin been the last few months? Nikita has had a curious experience playing in the Finnish Liiga. In 16 games for Kalpa, he scored 4 (1+3) points and finished the regular season with a plus-4 differential. But he was not destined to play in the Finnish playoffs. Pivtsakin’s club was one point shy of extending their season and giving them a taste of the elimination stage.
From Sibir to Avtomobilist
A year ago, Oleg Li agreed to stay with Sibir after a breakout season, largely because of the head coach. Last spring, Andrey Martemyanov came to Novosibirsk, and Li had his best season to date. It was Martemyanov who put Oleg on Amur’s first unit with Alexei Byvaltsev. It was assumed that, under his old mentor, Li would keep on scoring. However, 6 goals in 43 games was almost three times less than the season before. Now, Li moved to Ekaterinburg to join Nikolai Zavarukhin with whom the forward scored a record 31 points. True, most likely the newcomer will now play in one of Avtomobilist’s bottom lines. The Ural side’s head coach lamented the lack of an energy line – Li is a perfect fit for this situation.
From Amur to Sibir
Vladimir Butuzov could be considered as a kind of replacement for Oleg Li in the Novosibirsk offense. Interestingly, he also has a Khabarovsk past, although he is a product of the Sibir hockey academy. All in all, if you add Admiral, Butuzov has spent the last five seasons in the Far East. In the summer of 2020, he was briefly a Metallurg player, but soon became part of a full-scale exchange that resulted in his move to Amur. Butuzov, who played on a line with Maxim Shalunov and Sergei Shumakov in the early days of his career, signed a three-year agreement with his home club. It is worth admitting that if anyone benefited from the five-years old Andrei Sigaryov’s trade, it was certainly not Sibir. The forward, who went in the opposite direction to Butuzov, spent the last few seasons in Ukraine. Now, Sibir’s GM Kirill Fastovsky is correcting his own mistake.
From Amur to Avangard
Amur, which can boast only a contract extension with Evgeny Alikin, lost not only Vladimir Butuzov, but also Alexander Gorshkov at the beginning of May. And the talk is about the Tigers’ third and first scorer last term. The 31-year-old forward’s best result was 25 points. He scored more only when representing Rubin in the VHL. While in the KHL, Gorshkov’s name is inextricably linked with the Far East teams. He, as well as Butuzov, had time to make a mark both in Admiral and Amur. Now the small, but fierce and speedy forward is moving westwards. Gorshkov became Avangard’s first newcomer after the team officially returned to Omsk. He will meet his old Khabarovsk acquaintance Pavel Dedunov on the shores of the Irtysh River.