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02-01-2013, 06:12 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Minsk
Country: Belarus
Posts: 171
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Belarusian prospects. Updates, reports.

hi all
i'm planning to attend some belarusian open league games in february and would like to write here about some young players.

also i'm planning to visit some yunost games in vhl, because all young players from yunost farm-club yunior are playing now for the vhl team and all players from vhl team are playing in bol.
yunost lost their chances to make the playoffs so they have sent down their best players to compete for the belarusian league championship.
so because of that some young players made their vhl debut yesterday, in a game against izhstal'.

list of debuted players included such names as khenkel and dyukov, two of the most promising defenceman of their age. they are both late 1995-born and 2014 eligible.

so i want to start this thread with some words about them playing in yesterday's game.

i haven't seen them in person more than a year, so it was quite interesting how they are playing now and if they progressed much.

first impression was that khenkel has become a little higher and bigger, because he was a bit smaller than dyukov and now they are on par.
they still have a lot of room to grow and i expect them to bulk up also, because now they are bit lightweight (they are listed as 182-78 (dyukov) and 182-76 (khenkel) at vhl official site).

they played together and received pretty much playing time (25 shifts, 21:18 for dyukov and 24 shifts, 19:23 for khenkel). dykov was also on the ice with three other forwards when yunost' scored ot-winner.

they played disciplined and solid game, without any big mistakes.

khenkel impressed more with his physicality, he wasn't afraid of bigger and older opponents and tried to hit them every shift when he had a chance. there was a pretty interesting moment in the first period when he managed to hit two different forwards in a span of 5 seconds and he knocked them off the puck with the help of these hits. so he was somewhat effective with these moves.
also had some good stick-checks and blockshots. his skating is not ideal but pretty good (especially as it's a problem for many belarusian young players) and there is a time to perfect it.

khenkel showed some tendency of choosing some difficult plays to make, while dyukov prefers to make it more simple.

also khenkel succesfully made a pair of perfect first passes and proved that he possesses a good ice vision - some thing which other more experienced d-man from the both teams didn't show in this game.

it looked like they have some balance in their pairing, with khenkel having more offensive potential and dyukov playing more like a shutdown d-man who tries to make it safe and simple.

though, it may be early to say, because they haven't much chances to show something in offense because of the very cautious game they played. they were afraid of joining the rush and when the puck was loose in the offensive zone, they started to skate back to the neutral zone and didn't even try to help keeping the puck in the enemy zone, so they wouldn't get caught with the counter-attack.

only once during the game one of the youngsters jumped in the play and moved with the puck to the izhstal' blueline and to my surprise it was dyukov. he also had one shot on goal during powerplay but it was easily saved.

khenkel hadn't any chances to show his shot which was one of his strengths on junior level.

they are playing together for a long time so they are actively communicating on the ice and they understand well each other, it helps them much. in an ideal world you'll want them playing for your team together, as one unit.

so, i was pretty pleased to see them yesterday and though there is really much work to do, but now i'm sure that they're progressing well. on another hand, izhstal is one of the worst vhl teams and it's interesting to find out how they'll look like against tougher opponents and i'll try to follow them more this month.
maybe they need to move to NA, but only if they move together and to one team, i think.

1991-born yunost goalie borodulya also played very good game yesterday, he made some big saves.

so that's all for today, stay tuned

Last edited by kunabai: 02-01-2013 at 06:27 AM.
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