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12-09-2012, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by wings5 View Post
How about Ukraine, they have some senior players many people know but in Juniors they have been very lackluster. They have a few prospects playing at higher levels but what seems to hurt them is players of Ukranian descent representing Russia i.e seniors Zherdev, Tverdosky, Vishnevski, Zhitnik young players like Gayduchenko prospects like Lysenko, Grigorenko. Though I realize many were born in Russia, they are Ukrainian-Russians and would greatly enhance Ukranian hockey ! Russia has enough depth to compensate.
I think Ukrainian hockey is majorly on the rise. HC Donbass is a leading factor in this but they have created their league the PHL, with some competitive teams.

Donbass management is really ambitious and want to see Ukraine in the top division for worlds. They provide examples in Germany, France, and Italy that a country does not have to have a hockey-crazy population to be playing in the top division, or as in Belarus and others, the amount of hockey players registered dont have to be that high.

It was mentioned that 'top level hockey will be played in Donbass' and not only meaning the KHL club.
They have a pretty good 98 class that is quite competitive playing against Moscow region teams(their junior league), so it shows that they are working on their development system. Not only that they participate in tournaments in Sweden or Finland against top clubs (I think everyone can agree that Sweden has a top notch junior development system) and do pretty good.

I am not prepared to name prospects as that 20 year gap is probably going to have to play out. But, in 2018 the 98 team will be 20 years old. if there can be one good KHL level player that would be nice, then we have the 99, 00, 01, and 02 classes.... maybe in 2025 we will see high level Ukraine born and trained prospects playing top level hockey.

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