Tag Archives: Kontinental Hockey League


Wolf Pack’s Jensen Heads to KHL

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT The exodus has begun.

The Hartford Wolf Pack’s leading scorer, Nicklas Jensen, who registered 55 points and was the second highest goal-scorer in the AHL with 32 goals. Jensen was the Pack’s only representative to the AHL All-Star game and was the team’s MVP as voted on by the players. Jensen has made the decision to leave for greener pastures in the KHL according to a press release from Jokerit Helsinki.

Jensen, who wore number 13 in Hartford, and another ex-Pack (when they were the CT Whale) and New York Rangers draft pick, Tim Erixon, who’s still playing with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the AHL playoffs, have both signed with Salavat Yulaev Ufa in southwest Russia, near Kazakhstan. But that’s not all…Then both players were traded to the Finnish based KHL team Jokerit Helsinki for a fellow Dane Philip Larsen who played with Vancouver this year and his KHL rights which were held by Jokerit and financial compensation.

But that’s not all…


(Since Howlings first published this story, we have received clarification from Jokerit Helsinki. – “All we can say is that Jokerit has acquired Jensen’s rights and that no deal has been signed,” Ilro Keurulainen, the Media Communications Coordinator for the team told Howlings).

Right after being signed, both players were then traded to the Finnish-based KHL team, Jokerit Helsinki for Philip Larsen, a fellow Dane. Larsen played with the Vancouver Canucks this past season and his KHL rights were still held by Jokerit.

Jensen is a five-year AHL vet. Like many Europeans who come to the States, he waited to see where he was after five years. The decision becomes whether to pursue staying in North America or head back to Europe where there is usually better money, a different schedule and to be closer to home. Jensen was Vancouver’s first round pick in 2011 and was acquired by the Rangers along with a sixth-round draft pick and Emerson Etem on January 8th last year.

Helsinki is the capital of Finland. The team plays at the Hartwell Arena which seats over 13,000.

Jensen and Larsen will likely be teammates in for Denmark in Pool A of the 2017 IIHF World Championships to be held this year in Paris, France and Cologne, Germany in a couple of weeks.

These two signings boost the count to five AHL’ers who have signed to play in Europe next season. To date, that list includes, Reto Berra (Springfield to HC Fribourg-Gotteron Switzerland-LNA), Joel Vermin (Syracuse to HC Lausanne Switzerland-LNA) and Chad Billins (Utica to Linkopings HC Sweden-SHL).



BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack go timely scoring, good goaltending, and a total team effort and then held on for a 4-3 win over the visiting Utica Comets before 4,921 at the XL Center on Friday night.

Until recently, the Wolf Pack have had problems playing with the lead in the third period. In this one, they were able to expand their lead to two goals and it turned out to be the difference.

“It was important coming off the break,” Marek Hrivik, with three assists on the night, said. “We were fresh and we had to start off on the right foot and we got the two points.”

The Pack’s team speed was a big factor in the game-winning goal. Continue reading



BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – The Harford Wolf Pack’s hard luck at home continues after dropping a 4-2 decision to the Springfield Thunderbirds before an announced crowd of just 1,677 at the XL Center Wednesday night.

The Wolf Pack’s next home game is Saturday night against the Toronto Marlies.

There was plenty of solid individual efforts for Hartford, but critical breakdowns combined with timely goaltending from Springfield’s goaltending veteran, Mike McKenna (32 saves). McKenna who’s had his share of good games in the XL Center handed the Pack their seventh home loss of the young season. Continue reading


rp_new-york-r_thumb.gif2016 RANGERS PROSPECT DEVELOPMENT CAMP

BY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, June 26, 2016 – The New York Rangers will hold their annual prospect development camp from Monday, June 27 to Friday, July 1 at MSG Training Center. The camp will feature several of the Blueshirts’ top prospects, including Pavel Buchnevich, Ryan Gropp, Robin Kovacs, and Ryan Graves.

Thirty-one players are attending the Rangers’ prospect development camp this year, including five of the Blueshirts’ selections in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft: Sean Day, Gabriel Fontaine, Tim Gettinger, Ty Ronning, and Tyler Wall.

          Buchnevich, 21, split this past season between Severstal Cherepovets and SKA St. Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), registering 16 goals and 21 assists for 37 points, along with 24 penalty minutes in 58 games. He established KHL career-highs in games played, goals, assists, points, game-winning goals (three), power play goals (four), and average ice time (16:10). Among KHL players younger than 24 years old, Buchnevich ranked third in assists, ranked fourth in points, and tied for seventh in goals. He agreed to terms on an entry-level contract with the Rangers on May 13, 2016.

          The 6-2, 176-pounder registered 13 goals and 17 assists for 30 points, along with a plus-eight rating and 16 penalty minutes in 48 games with Severstal during the 2014-15 season. Buchnevich’s 30 points were the third-most a KHL player younger than 20 years old has recorded in one season in the league’s history. He also represented Russia at the IIHF World Junior Championship in 2014 and 2015. In those tournaments, he recorded 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in 14 contests and helped Russia earn a medal each year (silver medal in 2015 and bronze medal in 2014).

          Buchnevich was selected by the Rangers in the third round, 75th overall, of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

          Gropp, 19, skated in 66 games with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League (WHL) this past season, registering 34 goals and 36 assists for 70 points, along with a plus-10 rating and 40 penalty minutes. He established WHL career-highs in goals, assists, points, plus/minus rating, and power play goals (12), and tied his WHL career-high in game-winning goals (six) in 2015-16. Gropp tallied at least 30 goals for the second consecutive season, and he tied for 11th in the WHL in power play goals this past season. He agreed to terms on an entry-level contract with the Rangers on Dec. 31, 2015.

The 6-2, 187-pounder led the Thunderbirds in goals, tied for the team lead in power play goals, ranked second in points and game-winning goals, ranked third in assists, tied for third in power play assists (17), and tied for fourth in plus/minus rating in 2015-16. Gropp tallied a point in 44 of 66 games in which he played during the season, including 25 of his final 31 regular season games (16 goals, 22 assists in his final 31 regular season contests). He established WHL playoff career-highs in games played (11), goals (six), points (nine), and game-winning goals (two) while helping Seattle advance to the WHL Championship.

The Kamloops, British Columbia, native was selected by the Rangers in the second round, 41st overall, of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

Kovacs, 19, skated in 44 games with AIK IF of Allsvenskan in Sweden this past season, registering 21 goals and 13 assists for 34 points, along with a plus-two rating and 54 penalty minutes. The 6-0, 176-pounder was named the winner of Guldgallret, which is an award given annually to the top junior player (20 years old or younger) in Allsvenskan, for the second consecutive season. Kovacs also led all players younger than 20 years old in Allsvenskan in goals and points for the second consecutive season. In addition, he led Allsvenskan in shootout goals (eight) and game-deciding goals (four), tied for second in game-winning goals, ranked third in goals per game (0.48), and ranked fifth in goals and shooting percentage (17.1) in 2015-16. Kovacs helped AIK win the league championship in Allsvenskan. Kovacs also played with Rögle BK in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL), registering one assist in four contests.

The Stockholm, Sweden, native was selected by the Rangers in the third round, 62nd overall, of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

Graves, 21, skated in 74 games with the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL) this past season, registering nine goals and 12 assists for 21 points, along with a plus-six rating and 53 penalty minutes. The 6-5, 226-pounder led Hartford defensemen in goals and ranked second among team defensemen in plus/minus rating. Graves represented the Wolf Pack in the 2016 AHL All-Star Challenge, and he won the AHL Skills Competition’s Hardest Shot contest with a 103.4 MPH shot.

The Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, native was selected by the Rangers in the fourth round, 110th overall, of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

Complete Roster of participants – Click to Enlarge



greenville-road-warriors_thumb16Defense Strengthens with Addition of Humphries

Road Warriors also release Skelly and Secco on Monday

 BY: Alan Fuehring, Greenville Rd Warriors

Greenville, SCThe Greenville Road Warriors, proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, today announced defenseman Spencer Humphries has been added to the team’s Training Camp Roster. In addition, forward Shawn Skelly and defenseman Andrew Secco have been released.

Humphries, 22, began the 2014-15 preseason in Training Camp with the Vancouver Canucks and the AHL’s Utica Comets. Last season, the second-year pro played 17 games in Prague with Lev Praha of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). A native of Tsawwassen, British Columbia, Humphries spent five seasons in the Western Hockey League (WHL) from 2008-2013. Over 194 games, he earned 93 points (17g, 76a) with the Tri-City Americans and Calgary Hitmen. Humphries was drafted in the fifth round (#164 overall) by Traktor Chelyabinski in the 2012 KHL Draft.  Continue reading



Former NHL Draft Pick Ilya Solarev Returns To Danbury for Second Season

BY: Herm Sorcher, Danbury Whalers

The Danbury Whalers are proud to announce that Forward Ilya Solarev has signed an agreement to re-join the team for a second season.  Solarev will be in the lineup tonight for the 5th Annual Green & White Game tonight at 8 pm.  Continue reading



 BY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, July 2, 2014 – New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the team has agreed to terms with free agent forward Chris Bourque.

Bourque, 28, split this past season between Ak Bars Kazan of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) and EHC Biel of National League A (NLA) in Switzerland. He tallied two goals, along with six penalty minutes in 11 games with Ak Bars Kazan. In 21 contests with Biel, Bourque registered six goals and seven assists for 13 points, along with 14 penalty minutes. He also tallied four goals and four assists for eight points, along with four penalty minutes in 12 postseason contests with Biel. Bourque tied for fourth on Biel in goals during the postseason.

In 51 career NHL games with Washington, Pittsburgh, and Boston, the 5-8, 180-pounder has registered two goals and six assists for eight points, along with 18 penalty minutes. Bourque made his NHL debut as a member of the Capitals on November 6, 2007 at Atlanta, and tallied his first career NHL point with a goal on December 20, 2008 at Buffalo. In 2012-13, Bourque recorded one goal and three assists for four points in 18 games with Boston. He registered the first game-winning goal of his career on February 2, 2013 at Toronto.

Bourque has also tallied 142 goals and 291 assists for 433 points, along with 306 penalty minutes and a plus-54 rating in 437 career games in the American Hockey League (AHL). In 2011-12, he led the AHL in assists (66) and points (93), and was named to the AHL’s First All-Star Team while playing with the Hershey Bears. Bourque has won three Calder Cup Championships (2005-06, 2008-09, 2009-10), and was named AHL Playoffs MVP in 2010 after registering seven goals and 20 assists for 27 points in 21 playoff contests.

The Boston, Massachusetts native was originally selected by Washington in the second round, 33rd overall, of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.


1Danbury WhalersBY: Herm Sorcher, Danbury Whalers

The Danbury Whalers are proud to announce that Forward Ilya Solarev has signed an agreement join the team.  Solarev will be in the lineup tomorrow night when the team faces the Watertown Privateers.

Solarev, a native of Kazakh, was a 9th round selection of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2001 NHL Draft.  For the past four seasons he has been playing professionally in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) which is the Russian equivalent of the National Hockey League (NHL). Continue reading



BY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, March 28, 2013 – New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with free agent forward Mats Zuccarello.

Zuccarello, 25, registered 11 goals and 17 assists for 28 points, along with 30 penalty minutes in 44 games with Magnitogorsk Metallurg of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) this season. He tied for fifth on Metallurg in goals, and ranked sixth on the team in points and assists. Zuccarello also registered two goals and two assists in seven playoff contests with Metallurg. He tied for second on the team in goals, third in points, and fourth in assists during the postseason. Continue reading


Bruce-Berlet-150x1501BY: Bruce Berlet, Special to Howlings

Mats Zuccarello was scheduled to head back to North America on Tuesday night but don’t expect “The Norwegian Hobbit” to make another pit stop in Hartford with the Connecticut Whale.

The parent New York Rangers needed goals – desperately – so Zuccarello was to go directly from Norway to Ottawa to rejoin the Rangers and not pass any “go” signs along Asylum Street, where he was an AHL All-Star last season before finishing in the NHL with a fractured left wrist that kept him out of a run to within two wins of the Stanley Cup finals.  Continue reading