Devils Acquire Andrei Loktionov from Kings

Earlier this evening, the NHL had it’s first trade of the shortened 2013 season involving a Russian player. 22-year-old Andrei Loktionov who has spent his entire career with the LA Kings was dealt to New Jersey for a 5th round pick in this years draft. Loktionov spent most of his time with the Manchester Monarchs in the AHL where he scored 29 goals in 132 games. The Voskresensk native was assigned the Devils farm team in Albany, NY and could be available for Saturday’s game against Syracuse.
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KHL’s Lokomotiv Yaroslavl Charter Crashes in Russia

Hours ago, news from Russia reported a ­Yakovlev-42 Plane had crashed outside of Yaroslavl en route to Minsk, Belarus, the plane has now been confirmed as the charter for the KHL’s Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. Of the 45 people on board, there has been word that three have survived, Alexander Galimov, a 26-year-old winger and Yaroslavl native, being the only player. Galimov was listed in critical condition with broken bones and burns. Various reports say he has not succumb to his injuries at the hospital despite 80% of his body being covered in burns. Russian authorities are assessing the crash as a criminal investigation with reports stating two loud noises were heard following takeoff.

The plane crashed into a beacon antenna, splitting the plane into two. The soviet era plane has claimed over 500 lives since it’s inception in 1980 and it’s production was stopped in 2002. It has been a goal of the Russian government to bar it and other soviet era style planes from taking the sky’s as newer planes are now widely available. This particular plane is said to have been 30 years old.
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Devils Russian’s Start and Finish Comeback

(Photos by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

With the struggling New Jersey Devils trailing the Oilers by 2 goals late in the first period, Alexander Vasyunov scored his first NHL goal. Vasyunov slipped in behind the defender to get open in front of the Devan Dubnyk and banged home a Travis Zajac pass. The goal helped the Devils rally to win their first home game of the year. Patrik Elias also assisted on the goal.

Vasyunov, 22 years of age, is 8 games into his young NHL career and now has points 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists) and points in back to back games. He played 24 shifts on Friday night for a total of 18:16 of ice time, both career highs. On Wednesday night against the Buffalo Sabres he assisted on David Clarkson’s goal, also the first goal for the Devils that night.
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Vasyunov’s first NHL point gives Devils third victory of the year

(Courtesy of Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)

For the second time this season Alexander Vasyunov was called up from Albany to New Jersey’s roster.  The first time came at the expense of countryman Ilya Kovalchuk but tonight he had the chance to play at the right wing with Kovalchuk and Patrik Elias.  A strong effort was rewarded as he intercepted an Anaheim pass in the neutral zone during the third period and lead the rush into the offensive zone.

Vasyunov passed the puck back to Patrik Elias who ripped the puck past Jonas Hiller, giving Vasyunov his first career NHL point. Although finishing the game with just under 13 minutes played, all of which came on special teams, 2 shots and a plus1.  He was also rewarded with the trust of Devils Coach John MacLean.  With a minute and a half left the coach felt he had been playing good enough to get a big defensive shift.
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Comrade of the Night-Alexander Semin

On a night when one Russian was making his NHL debut in lieu of another DC’s other Alex single-handedly kept up with the Atlanta Thrashers scoring three goals in regulation before teammate Tomas Flischemen clinched the victory in overtime.

Semin got on the board to tie the game at in the opening minute of the second period collecting an errant pass from Chris Mason who failed to get back to the crease in time to stop his slapper. He would get his second of the game on a Mathieu Perreault rebound to tie the game once again before completing the hat-trick on an open look from Perrault midway through the third.
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Russian Rookies Set for NHL Pre-Season Debuts in Philadelphia

The NHL pre-season gets underway tonight with nine games on tap around the league. One that we are keeping our eyes on tonight is the New Jersey Devils vs. Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center which will feature the debuts of Devils winger’ Alexander Vasyunov and Flyers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. Vasyunov was selected to travel with the Devils for their first game after netting the over-time winner in yesterday’s scrimmage.

The 22-year-old Yaroslav native who spent last season with the Lowell Devils where he scored 15 goals and added 13 assists knows head coach John MacLean sees potential in his game as MacLean coached the farm club before being promoted this summer to the NHL. Vasyunov admitted he was nervous in his first appearance with the team that drafted him in 2006, telling beat reporters “before the game, maybe 30 minutes. Especially then I will be nervous.” Vasyunov has twice represented Russia in the World U18 Championship and the World U20 Championship in 2006 and 2007 respectively.
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