About the League
Junior Hockey League media relations department continues the series of jubilee season reviews for every team. After finishing with medals for two consecutive years, Reaktor Nizhnekamsk got eliminated in the opening round of the playoffs by Tolpar Ufa.
6th place in the Eastern Conference, 71 points in 60 games, 174 goals for, 162 goals against
After winning two consecutive Junior Hockey League medals, Reaktor Nizhnekamsk have made serious alterations to their roster. However, they still managed to make the post-season. Vyacheslav Kasatkin was in his second JHL season as a head-coach. Under his command, the team enjoyed decent five months. Nizhnekamsk were consistent at getting points throughout the season. They managed to avoid major slumps, excluding a brief period towards the end of the year with seven consecutive losses and unfathomable upsets. For instance, Reaktor lost to Sarmaty Orenburg 11-3, which is very difficult to explain. Nevertheless, that didn’t prevent Nizhnekamsk from getting into the playoffs for the six consecutive time. Reaktor missed the post-season just once in 2013.
After Rafael Bikmullin’s departure, Nizhnekamsk looked at their new heroes to fill the void. Last season’s top-scorer Razat Timirov now plays for Irbis Kazan, and that paved the road for Arsen Khisamutdinov. A year ago he was one of the best players on the team and now he led Reaktor in points. Khisamutdinov was the only Team East player to go to KHL All-Star Game from JHL Challenge Cup. Another hero from 2018 Bulat Shafigullin played just 24 games in the juniors but scored as many as 32 points. Yaroslav Ozolin ate up the majority of games, while Ilnur Abdulkhakov and Artyom Yevpak played just six and five games respectively.
Top-scorer: Arsen Khisamutdinov – 55 (26 goals, 29 assists) points
Top goal-scorer: Arsen Khisamutdinov – 26 goals
Most assists: Arsen Khisamutdinov – 29 assists
Top defenseman: Alexei Puzanov – 32 (11 goals, 21 assists) points
Starting goaltender: Yaroslav Ozolin – 55 games, 30 wins, Goals Against Average – 2.33, Save Percentage – 0.921 on average per game
Nizhnekamsk got off to a great start in the opening round series against Tolpar Ufa. Reaktor scored two unanswered goals and stole the home ice advantage. However, Tolpar receovered from the blow. The fans didn’t get to see a lot of goals in Game 2 either. Home team took 40 shots against Yaroslav Ozolin but he let in just one – midway through the first period of play forward Anton Pachin scored on a powerplay. That goal proved to be the game-winner.
In Nizhnekamsk Tolpar took the lead in the series as they won a hard-fought Game 3. In the following bout Nizhnekamsk had the lead twice but Tolpar managed to come back from behind and won the game in overtime.
Top-scorer: Bulat Shafigullin – 3 (0 goals, 3 assists) points
Top goal-scorer: Alexei Puzanov – 2 goals
Most assists: Bulat Shafigullin – 3 assists
Top defenseman: Alexei Puzanov – 2 (1 goal, 0 assists) points, minus-1
Starting goaltender: Yaroslav Ozolin – 4 games, 1 win, Goals Against Average – 1.45, Save Percentage – 0.958 on average per game