city minsk

GM: Igor Kirunov (only GM in team’s history)

Coach: Lindy Ruff (replaced Claude Julien)

Last season: 3rd overall, (defeated Dublin and Moscow, then lost to Belfast in the conference finals)

Ins and Outs

(Season 5 to Season 6)


In:  Tony Martensson (free agent), Kevin Hayes (draft),  Dmitrij Jaskin (draft),  Pavel Zacha (draft), Colin White (draft)

In Place (Key players signed past Season 6)

Aaron Ekblad, D; Ryan McDonagh, D; Michael Del Zotto, D; Max Chudinov, D; Gustav Nyquist, RW




Three Questions

1. How much of the Hussars’ success can be attributed to Carey Price? Price is one of the best goalies in the game, so he is a major reason why the Hussars have leapt up the standings over the last three seasons. Last season, Price out-Quicked Quick and out-Lundquisted Lundquist. Only Jimmy Howard had a better save percentage than Price’s 91.3 average. If you look at the goalie’s career statistics, you would surmise, “Hmph. He really turned it on once he turned 27 years old.” But there is probably more to Price’s success than the flipping of a page on a calendar and it’s probably the improvement of his supporting cast that is the reason. Minsk has a lot of underrated players, both on the forward lines and on defense.

2. What’s better, their offense or defense? The offense is good, for sure, but Minsk’s defense is better. Let’s add a couple words to that answer: Minsk’s defense is better … than anyone else’s. The team’s 2.45 goals against average was tops in the league last season and if you are an opposing coach looking at their roster – with its 29-year-old goalie and a top four defense crew consisting of a 27-year-old, a 26 year-old, a 22-year-old and 19-year-old Aaron Ekblad – then you wince and wonder how you are possibly going to compete with that. Ryan McDonagh and Michael Del Zotto have formed a dynamic duo since Del Zotto came to the team in Season 4. Del Zotto, who is good for 200 hits per season, put together seasons of plus 23 and plus 25 with McDonagh and he blocked more than 100 shots last year. McDonagh had very similar numbers: plus 21 and plus 29, 264 hits and 100 blocks last season. Behind them on the depth chart are future superstars Max Chudinov and Ekblad. Chudinov has already completed four full seasons in the EURO and he was a very impressive plus 41 last year.

3. What would their weakness be? Going by last year’s stats, Coach Lindy Ruff might want to devote a few more hours per month to the powerplay. The Hussars’ PP numbers were better than they have ever been, and they are certainly not bad, but compared to where the team ranks in other statistical categories, this is the area that lags a little behind. Minsk ranked 14th in the league last year in powerplay percentage and the team made no roster changes in the off season. Ruff has to hope another season of, umm, seasoning will lead to an improvement. On paper, it looks like leadership is also a slight concern, but Nicklas Backstrom did a great job as captain last season with assistants Carey Price and Jordan Staal. If your team finished third overall, you don’t have leadership issues.


Season                 Place        PTS        PP %      PK %      SPG        SAPG     GPG     GAPG    PIM

Season 5                3               117         17.1          86.6       34.85     26.24     3.70     2.45       10.57

Season 4               7               106         19.0        83.4        33.55     28.05      3.24     2.67       12.18

Season 3              18               77          17.3        78.6        29.57    30.85       3.15      3.40       12.91

Season 2              19               74           15.1         81.9        26.40       31.21        2.71        3.41      10.29

Season 1              24               54           13.3         79.8        25.59      32.46        2.12        3.50       9.82

Top Draft picks

Season 1: Carey Price, G, current age 29. Games played: 348; Save Pct. 90.2

Season 2: Maxim Chudinov, D, age 22. GP 302, Pts 119, +25

Season 3: Valeri Nichushkin, RW, age 21. GP 177, Pts 58, +13

Season 4: Aaron Ekblad, D, age 19. GP 82; Pts 29; +24

Season 5: Kevin Clark, RW, age 21.

Season 6: Kevin Hayes, RW, age 22.

Trade History

Season 1 (picks without years listed are from initial draft)

Traded Round 4 pick (used to draft Brent Burns) to St. Petersburg for Round 6 pick (used to draft Patrik Berglund) and 2013 Round 1 pick (Thomas Powell)

Traded Round 8 pick (traded later) (Andrej Meszaros) to Oslo for Round 17 pick (Zac Rinaldo) and 2013 Round 1 (Alex Galchenyuk)

Traded Round 12 pick (Dan Winnick) to Bern for Round 14 pick (Matt Cllen), Round 25 pick (later traded) (Dan Paille) and 2013 Round 3 pick (Nathan Beaulieu)

Traded Matt Cullen to Athens for Round 15 pick (Stefan Elliott)

Traded Matt Hunwick Round 25 pick (Dan Paille) and Round 25 pick (Alexei Emelin) to Edinburgh for Nick Bjugstad

Traded Vernon Fiddler and $1 million to Geneva for Alex Chiasson

Traded Round 21 pick (Raffi Torres) to Geneva for Brian Dumoulin

Traded Round 10 pick (Mikael Granlund) to Belfast for Round 11 pick (Romas Josi) and Round 15 pick (Andrej Sekera)

Season 2

Traded Andrej Sekera to Prague for Nicklas Grossman and 2015 Round 3 pick (Jon Merrill)

Traded Brayden Schenn and Kyle Clifford to Helsinki for Alexander Burmistrov

Traded Tobias Stephan to London for 2016 Round 3 pick

Traded 2016 Round 3 pick (from London) to London for Tobias Stephan

Traded Jonas Holos to Frankfurt for 2014 Round 2 pick (later traded) (Viktor Fasth)

Traded Patric Hornqvist and Mathis Olimb to Berlin for 2015 Round 1 that was later traded in Aaron Ekblad deal.

Season 3

Traded  2014 Rd 2 pick  (Hunter Shinkaruk) to Helsinki for Sven Baertschi

Traded Roman Josi and Alexander Galchenyuk to Prague for Zach Parise

Traded Andres De La Garma to Copenhagen for 2015 Round 2 pick (later traded) (Julius Honka)

Traded Zach Parise to Gothenburg for Milan Lucic, 2016 Round 1 pick (later traded to Zurich – Sandro Zurkirchen) and 2017 Round 1 pick

Traded 2015 Round 3 pick (Brandon Montour) to Helsinki for Nick Spaling

Season 4

Traded Nick Bjugstad, Magnus Paajarvi and 2015 Round 1 pick (Sami Vatanen) to Frankfurt for 2015 Round 1 pick (Aaron Ekblad)

Traded Valeri Nichushkin, Sergei Kostitsyn and Ilya Nikulin to Geneva for Michael Del Zotto

Traded 2015 Round 2 pick (Julius Honka)  to Stockholm for 2017 Round 3 pick

Traded Jon Merrill to Bern for 2017 Round 3 pick

Traded Jakub Voracek, Nathan Beaulieu and 2016 Round 1 pick (Sandro Zurkirchen) to Zurich for Patrick Kane

Traded Patrik Berglund and Nick Leddy to Madrid for Jordan Staal

Traded Renat Mamashev to Dublin for 2017 Round 2 pick

Traded two 2017 Round 3 draft picks (Oliver Kylington and Calle Jarnkrok) to Munich for Mark Giordano

Season 5

Season 6

Traded 2017 Round 2 pick (Mathew Barzal) and 2017 Round 3 pick (Evgeny Svechnikov) to Lisbon for 2017 Round 2 pick (Colin White)

After Season 6 started:

Traded Dmitrij Jaskin to Zurich for Janne Niskala

Traded Kevin Hayes, 2018 Round 2 pick and 2019 Round 2 pick to Edinburgh for Olivier Roland and 2018 Roiund 3 pick

Claimed Jimmy Hayes off waivers

Lost Mark Giordano and Matt Martin off waivers




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