Alexander Romanov, CSKA, KHL, Russia
Romanov played two games this week and performed very well. He leaves this week with a +6 rating and, with two games to go, CSKA needs to only win one to claim the Western top seed in front of SKA St. Petersburg.
Romanov’s TOI has climbed since his return from an elbow injury that he suffered during the World Junior Championships, and this week his time on attack has lingered just shy of four minutes a game.
The standings leaves CSKA with home ice advantage for the playoffs. If they can get points in the last two games, and a first-round series against Torpedo, it looks very manageable for the Red Army team.
Jesse Ylönen, Lahti Pelicans, Liiga, Finland
It was another tough week for the Pelicans who had two losses — a 3-0 loss to JYP and a 6-2 loss to TPS. The Lahti team did manage to beat Ässät, but there will be no playoff hockey for the team this season.
Ylönen has been struggling as of late and this week was no exception as he ended up with a -6 rating for the week, with his TOI dropping as well. There is a lingering question as to what would be best for Ylönen long term — get into a playoff team on loan or get a long off-season that can be put to good use as he prepares himself for what I expect to be a move to North America after the summer.
I have discussed his season with underlying metrics and numbers and the fact remains, Ylönen has taken a step forward this season no matter what the point production says.
Arsen Khisamutdinov, Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk (KHL) / CSK VVS Samara (VHL), Russia
The air force team from Samara got its season cut short, something that was a big disappointment. Khisamutdinov is back with Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk, however, he has not been part of the squad for the KHL team this week.
Neftekhimik is in the hunt for a playoff spot, but the race is tight and there are only two games left for Neftekhimik to make the playoffs.
Even if Neftekhimik makes the playoffs it is uncertain that Khisamutdinov will get to play as there has been a set lineup in the last games for the Wolfs.
Frederik Dichow, Malmö U20, SuperElite / Malmö Redhawks SHL, Sweden
There were no games on the Northern road trip for Frederik Dichow. Malmö lost both games, and was passed by both Timrå and Skellefteå in the standings. Still, Malmö looks set to be able to get into the wildcard spot thanks to a good second half of the season.
Mattias Norlinder, Modo, HockeyAllsvenskan, Sweden
A concussion has sidelined Norlinder since January. Modo is in the second spot at the moment, but will have to fight hard to keep it as Timrå is fighting to catch up and pass Norlinder’s team.
Jacob Olofsson, Skellefteå AIK, SHL, Sweden
Olofsson is out for the season with a shoulder injury that required surgery.
Joni Ikonen, KalPa, Liiga, Finland
Ikonen is also out for the season with rehab training in order to get back to hockey next season.