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Red Wings prospect Jake Paterson, OHL surprised as Russians take 2 Subway Super Series games

The Russians tend not to send their best Major Junior prospects across the pond for the CHL's Subway Super Series, and as such, it's something of a toss-up as to whether the six-game battle between the Russian major-junior-aged representatives and a trio of QMJHL, OHL and WHL All-Star teams are competitive or whether they're something of a rout.

This year's a little different. Red Wings prospect Anthony Mantha scored goals in the QMJHL's 3-2 and 4-3 wins over Russia, but what is supposedly a very middling Russian lineup has turned the tables on the Ontario Hockey League, first taking a 5-2 decision over the OHL team that included Zach Nastasiuk last Thursday.

On Monday, Red Wings prospect and prospective Canadian World Junior Team starting goalie Jake Paterson stopped 21 of 23 shots but was bested by his Russian goaltending competitor, Ivan Nalimov. Nalimov stopped 50 of 52 shots in regulation and OT and stopped 7 shootout shooters to Paterson's 6 of 8 as the Russians won 3-2 in a shootout.

Sportsnet posted a highlight clip from the game:

Paterson himself chimed in:

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alwaysaurie's avatar


Thanks for letting us see the Russians, George.

After seeing the Russians way back in ‘79 I’ve taken to watching Russian amateur hockey and it’s always nice to see what youngsters are developing over there.

Posted by alwaysaurie on 11/26/13 at 02:40 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

It’s very different.

USA Today’s Kevin Allen’s article about the “declining Russian influence” upon the NHL more or less ignored the fact that there are no more Soviet-style sports schools—the kinds that players like Fedorov, Konstantinov, Larionov, etc. attended as youngsters—and at this point, the infrastructure really isn’t there to develop elite hockey talent.

KHL-playable talent, sure, but not NHL-level players. Unless you are very wealthy, like Alex Ovechkin’s parents were (his mom was an Olympic athlete, and she was well-off as a result), you happen to be playing in one of the rare areas where developmental hockey leagues exist, like Evgeni Malkin and Metallurg Magnitogorsk’s system, or if you’re one of those diamonds in the rough who grows up poor but gets very lucky and/or blessed and/or earns the right breaks at the right time like Pavel Datsyuk, who never had any real sort of “means” but has a near-miraculous story behind his hockey development, well…

All of the KHL’s attempts to develop the MHL and VHL to help defer what are incredibly high costs of playing hockey in North America and what can be astronomical costs on Russian parents’ salaries…Are still “on the ground floor,” and I don’t believe that we’re going to see another influx of Russian players for a while given that the kids who are near draft age now were all born when the Soviet sports infrastructure was falling down.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 11/26/13 at 03:05 AM ET

RW19's avatar

I watched chunks of all the games and IMO ... the Q just played with more pace & speed than the OHL. Jonathan Droiun was lights out.

The Drouin-Mantha combo will likely be part of the Canadian Team at the WJC. The Russians really had trouble with Mantha going to the net.

Posted by RW19 on 11/26/13 at 11:07 AM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.