The Junior Hockey League announces the coaching staff of Team East for the Challenge Cup, which is to be held in Tula on December 3, 2023.
Dmitry Burlutsky (Mamonty Ugry) has been named the head coach of Team East, he will be assisted by Vitaly Chernochub (Omskie Yastreby) and Marat Askarov (Belye Medvedi). Both of the teams will be taken over by the coaches who have approved themselves in the 2022/23 and 2023/24 seasons. The coaching staff for Team West composed of Yury Navarenko (Mikhailov Academy), Yegor Bashkatov (Almaz) and Andrei Mikhalyov (Dinamo-Shinnik), was announced on October 5.
Team East won the latest two Challenge Cups and cut Team West’s lead to 8-4. Dmitry Burlutsky’s coaching staff is to select the players who will try to keep Eastern Conference’s winning streak going.
Dmitry Burlutsky was behind the bench for Mamonty Ugry during five seasons. In the 2018/19 season, the Ugra team coached by Burlutsky reached playoff semifinals and won their first bronze medals in the JHL. Before the start of the 2023/24 season, Dmitry Burlutsky was back with Mamonty Ugry who are now the leaders of the Gold Division of the Eastern Conference. Burlutsky coached such current KHLers as Alexander Zhabreyev (Severstal), Danila Galenyuk (Sochi), Pavel Shen (Admiral), Alexander Yaremchuk (Vityaz), Ivan Morozov (Spartak).
Vitaly Chernochub spent five years working with kids’ teams in his native city of Novosibirsk. In the 2020/21 season, he moved to Omsk and became a member of Omskie Yastreby coaching staff, in the summer of 2021 he was named the team’s head coach. With Chernochub behind the bench, Omsk reached 2022 playoff semifinals and won their first JHL medals since 2013. In the 2022/23 season, Omskie Yastreby made it all the way to the finals, but lost to Chaika in Game 6. In December 2022, Chernochub was a member of Team East coaching staff for the Challenge Cup held in Chelyabinsk and won the trophy. During his coaching career, he worked with Mikhail Gulyayev (Avangard), the Klimovich brothers (Sibir), Timur Mukhanov (Severstal).
Marat Askarov coached VHL teams Ermak and Molot. Since the 2019/20 season, he has been a member of Belye Medvedi coaching staff, and in June 2022 he became the head coach for his hometown’s junior team. In the 2023/24 season, Chelyabinsk is one of the leaders of the Gold Division of the Eastern Conference. Askarov coached such Chelyabinsk prospects as Mikhail Goryunov-Rolgizer, Artyom Shvaryov (both play for Traktor) and Yegor Stepanov (Severstal).
Dmitry Burlutsky, Mamonty Ugry head coach:
– Being named Team East’s head coach for the Challenge Cup came as a surprise to me, yet a welcome one. I have never worked with Marat Askarov or Vitaly Chernochub before, but I know them as good specialists from strong teams. We have already got in touch over the phone, talked, and will do our best to build a decent team. I visited Tula with Mamonty Ugry for a preseason game in the summer of 2020. They have created good conditions for hockey there.
Vitaly Chernochub, Omskie Yastreby head coach:
– It feels nice to be picked. It goes to show that all the work done was not in vain. It is great to be a coaching staff member for a game played by the best players of the League. I have already been to the Challenge Cup when it was held in Chelyabinsk, it is a hockey festival: hard-fought game, good experience. I will go to Tula with great pleasure. The coaching staff is composed of coaches who have extensive experience in the JHL. Tula is a new location not only for junior, but also for adult hockey. They have a good VHL team, two JHL teams, a very good school - hockey is being developed and paid great attention to. Tula truly deserves to be the host city for this event.
Marat Askarov, Belye Medvedi head coach:
– It will be very interesting to work with the best players of the JHL. The Chelyabinsk guys are doing their best, credit for my participation in the event goes to them. I haven’t had a chance to visit Tula yet, but I know that they have a great arena there, good infrastructure and interaction between the JHL and VHL teams. Belye Medvedi coaching staff member, Vladimir Vorontsov, used to work there, and I had a chance to talk to him about it. He has only good things to say. Now we are to decide on the lineup. We have a good coaching staff, we will keep in touch on this issue, it is also a very exciting process. I know my colleagues personally and I am aware of their winning mentality, so I can say for sure that the team will be tuned up for the game. We do want to keep Team East’s winning streak going.
Tula becomes the host city for Junior Hockey League Challenge Cup for the first time. The event will be held on December 3 within the framework of Fonbet All-Star Week. Women’s All-Star Game is scheduled for December 2. KHL Skills competition and All-Star Game will be hosted by new SKA-Arena in Saint Petersburg on December 9 and 10.