Thread: Latvia: Latvian prospects
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11-01-2013, 04:05 PM
  #349
Latgale_fan
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So LHF announced candidates for U20 team in a prep tournament (Sergejs Zoltoks Cup) vs Denmark, Austria and Belarus that will take place from November 7-9 in Arena Riga. Pretty unremarkable list of names, except for Punnenovs in the net and Sarkanis and Kondrāts from HK Riga and Semjonovs from J20 Superelit as forwards... Pretty much Latvia U20 second team, perhaps even third as regards offense, due to many guys playing abroad and HK Rīga being busy in MHL. So don't expect much from it.

But I think the real list of candidates can already be compiled:

Goalies:
Elvis Merzļikins (1994) Lugano (6 games NLA 91,7%, 9 games Swiss U20)
Ivars Punnenovs (1994) Rapperswil (3 games NLA 90.2% , 4 games Swiss U20)
Nils Grīnfogels (1994) HK Rīga (10 games MHL, 90.1%)

Done deal, pretty much. Merzļikins as nr.1, Punnenovs as backup.

Defense

Edmunds Augstkalns (1994) HK Rīga (16 games, 2+4, +7, MHL)
Haralds Neimanis (1994) HK Rīga (17 games, 1+4, +4, MHL)
Rinalds Rosinskis (1994) HK Rīga (17 games, 0+3, +11 MHL)
Patriks Škuratovs (1994) HK Rīga (17 games, 0+1, +9 MHL)
Jānis Jaks (1994) HK Rīga (17 games, 0+1, +2 MHL)
Kristofers Bindulis (1995) Soo Eagles (13 games, 0+3, +2 NAHL)
Kristaps Bažēvičs (1994) Wichita Falls Wildcats (13 games, 0+3, +7 NAHL)
Mārtiņš Oskars Freimanis (1994) Baltica Vilnius (12 games 5+7, +7 MHL B)

lIKE 2 years ago nothing has changed, weakest link of our team but at least HK Rīga doing great in MHL and as the core of D-men is 1994, perhaps they can be good in U20 Division 1 too

Forwards:
Zemgus Girgensons (1994) Buffalo Sabres (14 games 1+2, NHL) - will not play in Div1 for sure
Teodors Bļugers (1994) Minnesota State (4 games 1+1, NCAA)
Georgs Golovkovs (1995) Drumondville Voltiguers (15 games 7+8, QMJHL)
Ņikita Jevpalovs (1994) Blainville Boisbriand Armada (15 games 11+5, QMJHL)
Roberts Lipsbergs (1994) Seattle Thunderbirds (16 games 11+5, WHL)
Rihards Bukarts (1995) Brandon Wheat Kings (16 games 4+7, WHL)
Edgars Kulda (1994) Edmonton Oil Kings (16 games 3+7, WHL)
Romāns Semjonovs (1994) Orebro J20 (14 games 6+6, J20 Superelit)
Haralds Egle (1996) Muskegon Lumberjacks (10 games 1+1, USHL)
Nikolajs Jeļisējevs (1994) HK Rīga (17 games 11+7, MHL)
Rūdolfs Maslovskis (1995) HK Rīga (17 games 5+11, MHL)
Zintis Nauris Zuševics (1994) Graz 99ers (13 games 1+1, EBEL)
Rodrigo Ābols (1996) HK Rīga (17 games 5+4, MHL)

The depth of this batch of forwards is amazing, future national team material... More was expected from Bukarts perhaps (Danish Ehlers numbers) and Egle, but for Egle it's his first season in USHL level... Deivids Sarkanis now also has played 2 games with Dinamo Rīga and got an assist in the first, but he has not really showed up offensively in HK Rīga. Kārlis Ozoliņš also spent pre-season prepping with Dinamo, but hasn't been called up yet.

In any case, I'm worried about Ehlers and Bjorkstrand on Danish side but other than that everything below winning the Division 1, if all (or almost all) guys are present I would consider a disappointment

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