Kevin Brown

KHL/European League Update

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Omark and Brunner Burning!

Saturday, October 27, 2012


It’s time to take another European Tour to get caught up on which NHLers who have been making a name for themselves overseas during the work stoppage.  

  Evgeni Malkin – It’s certainly no surprise to see Geno’s name on this list, but after a slow start (by his standards) to his KHL tenure, the Russian star has set a remarkable pace.  Playing for his hometown team of Metallurg Magnitogorsk under the supervision of former NHL bench boss Paul Maurice, Malkin has amassed 11 points in his past four games to give him 20 points in 14 contests for the season, which is good for seventh in league scoring.  Any concerns about whether Malkin will be in game shape once the NHL season begins can officially be put to rest.  

  Viktor Stalberg – He has suited up for only five games with Frolunda of the Swedish Elite League, but the Blackhawks winger racked up three goals and two assists in those contests.  The fact that he has been playing alongside Avs center Matt Duchene has been a large factor in his success and leads us to believe he could break out at the NHL level if given the opportunity to skate with quality line mates. Stalberg set career highs scoring 22 goals and registering 43 points with the Blackhawks last season, but it’s possible he has not reached his ceiling just yet.  

  John Tavares – The New York Islanders will be moving to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the 2015-16 season and team management will certainly want to ensure they have a marketable star player on the roster to fill the seats. They have exactly that in John Tavares.  He may have played only in half of the games for SC Bern of the Swiss Hockey League this year, but by amassing nine points in those contests, the former OHL phenom finds himself near the team lead in scoring. In this league, which is notoriously low-scoring, he’s the only player on the Bern roster to average more than a point per game.  

  Linus Omark – Sticking with the Swiss League, Oilers youngster Linus Omark has been absolutely burning up the ice by registering 22 points in 15 games with EV Zug.  He plays alongside the shifty Damien Brunner, and the duo has used its immense speed to dominate opponents. However, their wide-open style of play has also led to a number of goals against.  Omark’s talent has never been in question, but his struggles to date in the NHL level have been the result of poor positional play, which don’t seem to have been corrected yet. He’s definitely worth a selection in keeper leagues because of his significant talent, but his fantasy owners should remain hopeful he develops the type of complete game that is required for long-term NHL success.  

  Tomas Plekanec – Playing for one of the Czech League’s top teams in Kladno, Plekanec has recorded 16 points in 11 contests, which places him in a tie for fifth place in league scoring.  In addition, the eight goals he has recorded are the second highest total in league play this season. The Kladno roster is littered with Czech-born NHL transfers such as Jaromir Jagr, Marek Zidlicky and Jiri Tlusty join Plekanec to form the team’s top four scorers with Tomas Kaberle not far behind.  The Canadiens forward has proven himself to be a consistent scorer in the NHL so there’s no reason he shouldn’t be in the hunt for the scoring lead in the Czech League for as long as he remains overseas.   



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