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Russia MHL Product Alexander Delnov Impressing in WHL - Junior Hockey News


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Published: Friday, 11 Oct 2013
By: Andrew Hirsh

The Russian MHL (Minor Hockey League) is known primary for its ability to produce future KHL stars. In a sense, it's the AHL equivalent of The Motherland, as players tend to jump straight from the MHL to the highest level of hockey across the pond.

But Alexander Delnov is a rare case. Rather than opt for a comfy, well-paying job as a forward in the Kontinental Hockey League, he traveled to North America and is now playing for the WHL's Seattle Thunderbirds.

Drafted in the fourth round (114th overall) in 2012 by the Florida Panthers, Delnov had the incentive necessary to leave his home country. His goal now is to make it to the NHL, which may not be far away.

The 19-year-old from Moskva has posted 10 points (6 G, 4A) in his first eight games of 2013-14, and has been one of the most valuable players to the Thunderbirds in the early going. 

Perhaps most importantly, though, is how much he's improved in the offensive aspect of the game. Last year, despite racking up 49 points with Seattle, had a minus-33 rating. This year, however, he's a plus-one heading into weekend action.

While he is still a few years away from joining the Panthers, the organization has a good amount of confidence in Delnov. They gave him six games with their AHL affiliate in San Antonio last spring, though he failed to register a point. But the fact that he was able to make that jump to the pro level and hold his own at such a young age. 

If he can continue to produce at more than a point-per-game pace this year with the Thunderbirds, he'll be in a great position heading into Panthers' camp next September. 





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* Article disclaimer: This site may contain advice, opinions and statements from various authors and information providers. Views expressed in this article reflect the personal opinion of the author, Andrew Hirsh, and not necessarily the views of JuniorHockey.com. JuniorHockey.com does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement or other info provided in the article, or from any other member of this site.





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