ALL-STAR TEAM. PART I

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02.07.2018 в 13:09

ALL-STAR TEAM. PART I

Junior Hockey League has announced top players in three positions in both conferences for each month throughout the season. That process carried on in the Kharlamov Cup Playoffs as well, as three top players were selected after each round. It’s time to put all of that together. We present to you the 2018 All-Star Junior Hockey League team. We have taken in consideration players’ production and various statistics in the regular season and the playoffs. Players who were selected as best in their positions in the season also made the team. In the first edition of the series we’re going to take a look at coaches and goaltenders.

Coaching staff

Dmitry Krasotkin (Loko Yaroslavl)

Mikhail Milyokhin (SКА-1946 St. Petersburg)

Vyacheslav Kasatkin (Reaktor Nizhnekamsk)

Maxim Smelnitsky (Belye Medvedi Chelyabinsk)

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Dmitry Krasotkin repeated his achievement from two years ago. Not only had he won Junior Hockey League’s main trophy, but he also won JHL Challenge cup, although this time around he was Team West assistant coach. Yaroslavl absolutely dominated the regular season and finished on top of the Western Conference with great confidence. The team also set a new JHL record as Loko gained points in 53 consecutive games. ‘Railway men’ went on to have a solid playoff run as they lost only four games and beat SKA-1946 St. Petersburg in the final series.

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Mikhail Milyokhin made the 2018 Kharlamov Cup finals with SKA-1946 in his second year of tenure in SKA’s major junior team. Consistency has been a signature style of St. Petersburg in recent years. ‘Army men’ are always among top teams of the Western Conference. Since SKA-1946 topped the conference for some time, Milyokhin got the nod to coach Team West at JHL Challenge Cup for the second consecutive season and won it again, this time as the team’s head-coach. SKA-1946 also had a stellar run to the finals as they lost only one game out of ten.

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Vyacheslav Kasatkin has been in Junior Hockey League ever since the league was created. However, he was Alexander Sokolov’s assistant the entire time. In the 2017-18 season Vyacheslav Alexandrovich took reins of Nizhnekamsk major junior team for the first time and didn’t make the club’s management regret their decision. Even though Reaktor made the playoffs only from the seventh berth in the East, the team showed their true strength in the post-season as they knocked out Stalnye Lisy Magnitogorsk and Mamonty Yugry. Nizhnekamsk ran out of gas in the series against Loko but for the second consecutive year they finished the season with medals.

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Maxim Smelnitsky and his Belye Medvedi Chelyabinsk also looked good in the past season. Smelnitsky learned from his past mistakes and Chelyabinsk, who traditionally pride themselves on developing top talent players, had a decent regular season, which was followed by even better performance in the playoffs where they eliminated Sibirskie Snaipery and Avto from cup contention. Notably, ‘Polar Bears’ swept both series. Only SKA-1946 managed to knock out Belye Medvedi in the semifinal round, despite the fact the latter had great reinforcements from their KHL and VHL teams. The season has proved that Smelnitsky has plenty of new and young talented players, which will be great to follow in the upcoming fall.

Goaltenders

Nikita Kamyshnikov (Stalnye Lisy)

Amir Miftakhov (Irbis Kazan)

Nikita Lysenkov (SКА-1946 St. Petersburg)

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Nikita Kamyshnikov enjoyed his first full Junior Hockey League season and his debut was truly amazing. The 18-year-old netminder played 53 games in the regular season, winning 32 of them as he was named twice the top goaltender of the month. Kamyshnikov also had two shutout wins. In the playoffs he started in all five games in the series against Reaktor Nizhnekamsk and looked decent despite his team’s loss. The young netminder is expected to make a lot of progress in the following season.

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Amir Miftakhov is yet another talented 18-year-old goaltender. This season aside from his JHL performance he also got international experience. Miftakhov was named top goaltender of the month twice this season and also got a called up to U18 Team Russia as many times. Miftakhov represented his country at Ivan Hlinka Memorial and U18 IIHF World Championship where Russia was the host nation as it was held in Chelyabinsk and Magnitogorsk. Miftakhov and Irbis couldn’t get further than the Round of 16 in Kharlamov Cup Playoffs. Kazan lost a hard-fought series in five games to Eastern Conference regular season champions Mamonty Yugry.

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After making a move from Moscow to St. Petersburg Nikita Lysenkov enjoyed his best season yet and made it to Kharlamov Cup Finals with SKA-1946. Chelyabinsk native had a tough competition for starting goaltender position on his new team as he was paired with Konstantin Volkov, who had been named goaltender of the season last year. However, Lysenkov pulled through solidly, enjoying a great regular season, which was followed by great performance in the playoffs where the goaltender made seven appearances. Overall, the 20-year-old netminder racked up nine shutouts, posting 1.46 Goals Against Average. At the season-closing ceremony Lysenkov was named the top goaltender of the year.

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