Saturday, February 13, 2010

2010 Lesser Known Stars


I had lunch (a few beers) this week at Germany House, and yesterday at Ontario House. It's really quite surreal that after seven and a half years of anticipation, the Olympics are here. I checked out the rosters of the hockey teams that dwell outside of the Big Seven nations to find the stars of those teams.

Norway
Mathis Olimb
; plays with Frolunda in the Swedish Elite League and has 31 points in 48 games this season. Per-Age Skroder may be the Norwegians hidden gem, as he led the Swedish loop in scoring last season with 30 goals and 59 points playing for Modo. This season he has dropped off to 17 goals and 33 points in 47 games, but his mantle has been picked up by Modo and Norwegian team mate, Mats Zuccarello-Aasen. He has 51 points in 48 games to sit third in Elite League scoring.
Another high-flying Nord is Tore Vikingstad (pictured above) who was a St.Louis sixth round pick in 1999. He currently has 55 points in 42 games for Hannover of the German League, good for third in overall scoring.

Switzerland
Yannick Weber a defenseman drafted in the third round by Montreal in 2007 after playing junior with the Kitchener Rangers. He notched 20 goals and 55 points in his final junior season and impressed with 44 points in 68 games with the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs last year. Weber has played 8 games the last two years with Montreal and has one assist, this season he has 23 points in 45 games with the Bulldogs.

Latvia
Kaspars Daugavins
is one of the few Latvians that doesn't play for Dynamo Riga in the Russian League. Daugavins has played one game with the Ottawa Senators this season, the remainder with Binghamton where the Left Winger has 14 goals and 32 points in 47 games. in 2008 he tallied 74 points in 62 games for the OHL's Mississauga Majors. Herberts Vasiljevs has 51 NHL games to his credit and scored 25 points in those games. He last suited up for Vancouver in 2001/02 and his last five seasons have been spent in the German League where he annually scores at a point per game pace.

Belarus
Oleg Antonenko is one of the few athletes at these games that I can say is older than myself. The 39 year old Left Winger has played in Russia since 1988/89 and is currently with Dinamo Minsk. He has 11 goals and 18 points this season after having a nice campaign last year with 18 goals for Balashikha of the KHL.

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