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European Prospect Report: Alexander Gordin scores his first KHL goal

Also this week, goaltender Frederik Dichow continues to impress, while Jacob Olofsson gets one final chance to.

Alexander Gordin, Sochi, KHL, Russia

Gordin was traded from the SKA system to the Sochi system this previous week, and already in his first game with his new team in the KHL he scored a goal. It was one where the sniper jumped in on a rebound and whacked it in from within the crease.

Gordin has played two games for Sochi and it will be interesting to see where he ends up in the organization. The potential is there when it comes to his shot and to a degree his hockey IQ, but the problem is still his skating. If he can work on that while in the KHL, things could be very interesting for Laval when his contract runs out with the Russian club.

Dmitri Kostenko, Khimik, VHL, Russia

The defender was with the U20 National Team in Sweden, but saw limited time on the ice as the seventh defenceman. Kostenko’s time was also limited due to some mistakes, especially in the game against the Czech Republic where he was part of the cause for the first Czech goal.

Mr. Filatov, the interim coach, said that Kostenko needs to think the game faster in order to become a better player. This, along with his skating, is the main focal point for Kostenko to improve upon going forward.

I can’t see that he will be part of the World Junior squad going to Edmonton come December because of these difficulties, and because the team that Russia iced in Helsinki on the weekend was made up of most of the players who will challenge for positions on the WJC squad.

Elite Prospects lists Kostenko as injured, and he hasn’t been part of the games since his return to the team after his international break.

Oliver Kapanen, KalPa, Liiga, Finland

The time after the 4-Nations tournament has been a struggle. Kapanen looked tired at the end of the tournament and was left out of KalPa’s games in Liiga the following week. He was moved around in the lineup for Finland and played with a lot of different wingers. He did look good in the faceoff circle and did a really good job on the penalty kill.

He still seems to be a solid pick for the WJC; Finland’s coach, Mr Antti Pennanen, told the listeners of The Dispatch that Kapanen had made a strong impression during the 4-Nations and proved that he can play on that level.

Frederik Dichow, Kristianstad IK, HockeyAllsvenskan, Sweden

The star of the show, week in and week out, in this series is ‘The Gnome,’ Frederik Dichow. The Danish goalie started one game and came on in relief in the second game when Olof Lindblom was pulled after letting in four goals in the first period.

Dichow has turned out to be one of the best signings in HockeyAllsvenskan this year, and is a big part of the reason that Kristianstad isn’t marooned at the bottom of the table. While he still shares the goaltending responsibilities with Lindblom, it seems that he is slowly taking over more and more of the starts.

Before he started on the bench and had to go in as relief, he had a six-game stretch where he had 1.00 goals-against average, .965 save percentage, and won all six.

Will the Great Wall of Denmark continue his strong play? That will be one of the most interesting questions to follow this winter.

Jacob Olofsson, Timrå IK / Frölunda HC (Loan), SHL, Sweden

In a surprise move, Olofsson ended up with the chance of a lifetime as he was loaned to Frölunda. Unfortunately, he hasn’t really gelled with the team and has one point in the three games with one of Sweden’s top teams.

Surprisingly, he went pointless in Frölunda’s 10-1 win against Adler Mannheim in the Champions Hockey League, but got an assist when Frölunda turned a 2-0, third-period deficit around to a 5-2 win against the Växjö Lakers.

The loan goes on for this week, and Olofsson himself told Göteborgs Posten that, “I am playing for my future.”

It remains to be seen what will happen with him after the loan, but my guess is another loan away from Timrå, albeit a move to a club a level below.

(Before Frölunda’s CHL game Tuesday night)

Mattias Norlinder, Frölunda HC, SHL, Sweden / Montreal Canadiens, NHL

Marc Bergevin mentioned that December is the internal cutoff date for the Canadiens to decide what they should do with Norlinder.