New logos!

Two new logos has been announced in the last days, and both trace main team's outfit.

Metallurg Magnitogorsk's affiliates, Stalnye Lisy (steel foxes), will feature, obviously, a fox, with a smarter expression though, three stars and the text in cyrillic "Stanlye Lisy" with the same font as "Metallurg", but split in two rows.

This is the result:

Rating: 4/5
A nice logo, a true junior logo like some other ones discovered in my other post about this matter.

But not only Stalnye Lisy unveiled their logo, but also Mytischie Atlanty. If their name is questionable, the logo might be even worse:

Rating: 2.5/5

Hmm...I don't like all-text logos, and the name too. Too simple, and also I don't like that kind of Nike swoosh on the left.

But Atlanty didn't stop there. They also announced their jerseys!

One has to admit that they look better than the logo. Not much because of the wolf's head, but because of the colors, especially in the dark uniform.

Also SKA-1946 unveiled their uniform in a showcase with forward Anton Tikhomirov and defender Grigori Serkin.

Very good effort. Now let's wait to see other logos and jerseys!


MHL Stars: Alexander Avtsin

A draft gem. The new Ovechkin. These are only two of the things that has been said about the last Montreal Canadiens' draftee Alexander Avtsin. "It's like that: Ovechkin's level is at my head's height, I'm still on the floor" - admitted the young player.

MHK Dinamo's star was an unknown player up till last year. He didn't play much with the national teams, wasn't a much known name even in Russia. But then he scored 110 points in the regular season - a record for Dinamo's farm team - and many scouts wrote his name on their jotters. Probably adding that the guy can skate and can play. Many scouts saw him during the season, including Trevor Timmins, who came to Moscow just for him.

Alexander Avtsin is a forward with a good frame and physical play, excellent stickhandling and ease to get to the score sheet. It was an easy call to compare him with the Washington Capitals superstar.

"He reminds of Ovechkin. He is quick, has good technique and is not afraid to challenge. He has a great potential. We could not miss the chance to pick him up." If these words come from Timmins, you've got to believe it.

Avtsin was also recruited to play in the CHL after Patrick Roy's Quebec Remparts drafted him in the CHL import draft. But reading his interviews looked like he isn't too interested in playing in the Q and Roy admitted really early that he wasn't going to play there. But there is a chance he'll play there in one year, we'll have to wait till next summer, when the Habs will see at which level he is and what can be better for his development. "There are good chances to see him with the Remparts in the 10-11 season" - added Roy himself.

He seems really committed to play for Dinamo this season even if most likely he'll spend the whole season playing for MHL Dinamo's junior team. "I will probably play both in the KHL and MHL next year. Hardly I'll play directly in the KHL, but I'll do my best to get selected for the first team." It will be hard, Dinamo has a very stacked team as they want to win the Gagarin Cup (KHL's trophy). Let's remember that this summer they signed many players including Swedish rising stars Linus Omark and Johan Harju, getting them under the nose of their NHL teams. Though he recognizes that the MHL will be a step forward for him and for Russian hockey, as it will be "more interesting to play there, rather than with Dinamo-2" - he declared to Soviet Sports a couple of weeks ago. Let's remember that the new Russian junior league will start on September 4th with a match between MHK Dinamo and CSKA-Red Army. "We will win" - he said. But we'll check out on September!

Alexander also liked a lot his time in Montreal and differently from many other Russian peers is looking forward playing for Hamilton in the AHL, he wants to be there as he knows that he'll need some adaptation towards the NHL. He has great potential, but some parts of his game needs work. Defensive play, battles in the corners. Reaction. But he can make it through. The "Russian factor" made him go down to the 4th round, but he can be a draft steal like Evgeny Grachev last season for the Rangers.

"I was disappointed to read that Ovechkin is my idol. Yes, I like his style, but I don't want to be like him. Ovechkin is Ovechkin, and Avtsin has to be Avtsin."


MHL shows up some logos

As promised, MHL Hockey's second issue talks about the MHL logos. Unfortunately, not many teams unveiled logos so we'll have to rate only a bunch of them. Hopefully more team will unveil their graphic arts soon.

The first logo we are going to rate is the Sibir Novosibirsk's affiliate, Sibirskie Snaipery. The team was first called in another way, Siberian Foxes, but it had to be changed as it could be easily changed with some game of words to say something vulgar. The result is now what really looks like a junior logo:

Rating: 5/5

Cool, simple and with some color. What else you need?

The second logo we are going to see is the Ak Bars' junior team: Bars. As far as now there isn't an official logo, just a leaked imagine appeared on Russian newspaper Soviet Sports. The result is not bad at all:

Rating: 4/5

It looks promising, but we have to see what will be the final version. It will keep the same colors of the Ak Bars' main team, like Sibir.

The third logo of this selection is the one of Lada Togliatti, one of the most productive Russian schools. The logo created by the team's graphic isn't much different from the one of the first team, as well as the name, Ladia. The result:

Rating: 3/5

A corporate logo, simple and easy to watch, but it doesn't really look like a sport logo. But it's not ugly to watch.

Fourth logo: Metallurg Novokuznetsk's junior team Kuznetskie Medvedi. This time the graphics didn't do a good job at all. Yes, it's my opinion, but I think many will agree:

Rating: 2/5
Like a friend said, it looks like a yawning bear. And it looks like a non-pro work.

After the precendent logo shock we have to feast our eyes with the MHL best logo so far, which belogns to Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod's affiliated team: Chaika. Chaika in Russian means gull, and the team has been called that way because of a popular car manifactured in Nizhny Novgorod years ago. I do think that it's the best logo so far:

Rating: 5/5
Design, colors and general outfit are great. A hard-to-beat contender for the MHL best logo award.

The last team who unveiled their logo is HC MVD's HK Sherif. Another very good attempt, as we can see:

Rating: 4.5/5
Solid, good colors too. Maybe a tad simple. But it's not bad either.

Going a bit off topic, some other preseason matches have been scheduled:

01/08/2009: Ladia Togliatti - CSK-VVS Samara (Rus-1)
04/08/2009: Ladia Togliatti - CSK-VVS Samara (Rus-1)
05/08/2009: Ladia Togliatti - Reaktor Nizhnekamsk
07/08/2009: Ladia Togliatti - Reaktor Nizhnekamsk
2?/08/2009: Ladia Togliatti - Lada-93

Last but not the least, I advice anyone reading the interview to MHL star Alexander Avtsin I published on Russian Prospects

From Russia it's all for now, see you next time Russian hockey fans!!!



Hello everyone. This is MHL Hockey's first post. What is "MHL"? Easy question. MHL means, in Russian language, Molodezhnaya Hokkeinaya Liga, Junior Hockey League. It's a new thing for Russia, since prior this season only regional tournaments had been in place. And also, it's the first time that an under-20 league will be organized as earlier the junior leagues were under 17. All the teams will be KHL's junior affiliated. The MHL will run similarly to any other league in the world with two conferences. Even if the rule book hasn't been released yet, we know the alignments, which are as it follows:

Western Conference
Atlant Mytischi - Mytischinskie Atlanty
Vityaz Chekhov - Russkie Vityazi
Dinamo Moscow - MHK Dinamo
Lokomotiv Yaroslavl - Loko
Severstal Cherepovets - Almaz (Diamond)
SKA St. Petersburg - SKA-1946
Spartak Moscow - MHK Spartak
Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod - Chaika (Gulls)
Khimik Voskresensk - Feniks (Phoenix)
HC MVD - Sherif
CSKA Moscow - CSKA - Krasnaya Armiya (CSKA-Red Army)

Eastern Conference
Avangard Omsk - Omskie Yastreby (Omsk Hawks)
Avtomobilist Ekaterinburg - Avto
Ak Bars Kazan - Bars
Lada Togliatti - Ladia
Metallurg Magnitogorsk - Stalnye Lisy (Steel Foxes)
Metallurg Novokuznetsk - Kuznetskie Medvedi (Kuznetsk Bears)
Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk - Reaktor
Salavat Yulajev Ufa - Tolpar (Tolpar is a mithological flying horse)
Sibir Novosibirsk - Sibirskie Snaipery (Siberian Snipers)
Traktor Chelyabinsk - Belye Medvedi (Polar Bears)

MHL teams have already started their preparation towards the first season, which will start on September 4th with the match MHK Dinamo and CSKA-Red Army.
The following preparation matches have been scheduled:

31/07/2009: Ariada Akpars (Rus-1) - Bars Kazan
01/08/2009: Ariada Akpars (Rus-1) - Bars Kazan
07/08/2009: Bars Kazan - Chaika Nizhny Novgorod
08/08/2009: Bars Kazan - Chaika Nizhny Novgorod
14/08/2009: Chaika Nizhny Novgorod - Bars Kazan
15/08/2009: Chaika Nizhny Novgorod - Bars Kazan

There also two preseasonal tournaments, who will be played in Cherepovets and in Kazan, and you can find out informations here for the first one and here for the second one.

But a question surely crossed your mind. Who will be the MHL stars? Well, it might be not a true reply, but the KHL hosted the first MHL stars fotosession, which featured four players: Alexander Avtsin (MHK Dinamo), who has just been drafted by the Montreal Canadiens; exciting winger Alexander Khokhlachev from MHK Spartak (who has been called the new Kovalchuk), 1993-born; Arseny Kardailski from Mitishchie Atlanty and the solid defenseman Alexei Marchenko from CSKA-Red Army, 2010 draft eligible.

And here you go:
from left to right Avtsin, Khokhlachev, Marchenko and Kardailski

In MHL Hockey's second post we will discover the MHL logos...