Kevin Brown

KHL/European League Update

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Bruins Tops in Swiss League

Friday, November 09, 2012


This past week a couple of Boston players have really turned it up a notch in Europe. Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin are taking the Swiss League by storm. Let’s see who else is excelling overseas during the NHL work stoppage:  

 
Patrice Bergeron – Despite having suited up for only eight contests since joining Lugano, Patrice Bergeron is making some serious noise in the Swiss League by racking up 16 points.  I wasn’t a Mathematics major, but I’m pretty sure that works out to a solid average of 2.0 points per game. With this type of performance, the Bruins center is displaying a level of skill he doesn’t often show in the NHL because of his commitment to strong defensive play, but we have seen this version of Bergeron in the past, mainly in international play.  In case it wasn’t evident before, he’s proving he’s a world-class player.  

 
Tyler SeguinPatrice Bergeron isn’t the only Bruin to be making a name for himself in Switzerland. Tyler Seguin has been a dominant force for EHC Biel of late.  Seguin famously turned down a much larger offer to play in the KHL, instead opting to skate in the Swiss League.  The dynamic young playmaker has actually found the back of the net 13 times to go along with 10 helpers in 15 games with Biel and his recent performance has been especially impressive, capped off by a four-goal effort against Servette last week.  Having developed some chemistry with the Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane, Seguin currently stands fourth in the league scoring race.  

 
Oscar Moller – After having been a second round selection of the Kings in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Oscar Moller actually played 40 games with Los Angeles as an 18-year-old during the 2007-08 season, but he struggled to built on that performance.  After spending the majority of the 2010-11 campaign with the Manchester Monarchs of the AHL, the Swedish-born forward opted to return to his home country in 2011-12, hoping it would kick start his stalled career.  Moller joined Skelleftea HC of the Swedish Elite League and amassed 31 points in 54 contests last year, but he has taken a step forward this season with 14 points in 15 games, including a recent hat trick.  Still only 23 and oozing with talent, there’s no reason Moller, whose rights still belong to the Kings, couldn’t find himself back in the NHL in the very near future.  

 
Joel Lundqvist – Known by most people simply as the less famous of the Lundqvist Twins, Joel played three NHL seasons with the Dallas Stars from 2006 to 2009, registering seven goals with the club, but he has since made his mark with Frolunda of the Swedish Elite League, where he has played the past four years.  Lundqvist will never be mistaken for a sniper, as playmaking is his greatest skill, but he has played to his strengths so far this season by notching three goals and 15 assists in 20 games, which places him in a tie for sixth in SEL scoring.  There’s no telling whether Lundqvist will ever get the itch to test his game against North American competition again, but there’s no reason to think he couldn’t hang in the NHL if he decided to pursue that avenue.

 
Semyon Varlamov – Our European roundup wouldn’t be complete without at least one look at the KHL.  Despite the fact that he has only tended goal nine times since joining Lokomotiv Yaroslav, Semyon Varlamov has turned heads by posting a 4-2 record with a fantastic 1.94 GAA and a save percentage of .942 that places him second in the league in that category.  The Colorado netminder has ceded a few games to fellow NHLer Curtis Sanford, who has also played well in limited action, but Varlamov has been the primary goalkeeper for the league’s second best club.  He appears primed to take a step forward with the Avalanche once the NHL season gets underway. 

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Kevin Brown is fantasy hockey writer for Rotoworld. You can find him on Twitter @kbrownroto.
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