In the build-up to the 2008 Bashkortostan President’s Cup, much of the hype has been focused around the scheduled clash between star imports Jaromir Jagr and Alexander Radulov. These players are without a doubt the two biggest names that the Continental Hockey League has been able to attract for its inaugural 2008-09 season. This prestigious tournament is the first opportunity fans will have to see the pair square off outside of an NHL rink. However, with the star-studded clash days away, Jagr’s teammate Alexei Cherepanov is the player who has managed to grab the spotlight.
The Bashkortostan tournament is an annual pre-season tournament held in Russia. This year, the six teams participating are Jagr and Cherepanov’s Avangard Omsk, Radulov’s Salavat Yulaev Ufa, KHL sides Traktor Chelyabinsk, Spartak Moscow, and Metallurg Magnitogorsk, as well as Slovakian club HK-36 Skalica. The opening game of the tournament had Avangard Omsk facing HK-36 Skalica. Omsk came out victorious, as expected, to the tune of a 6-3 score, but it was future NY Ranger Cherepanov and not former Ranger Jagr that powered the Russian side to the win. While Jagr managed two assists, his young teammate lit up the scoreboard on his way to a hat trick.
Cherepanov opened the game’s scoring exactly 3 minutes in, before adding what turned out to be the game-winning goal in the middle of the 2nd period, and capping off his day with the team’s final tally in the 3rd period. Cherepanov, still one of the world’s best prospects at age 19, is aiming to have his best season yet, as a key force in Avangard Omsk’s attack. The future looks very bright for the Rangers’ 2007 1st-round draft pick.
August 5, 2008, 2:38 pm
The Morning Skate
By Stu Hackel
The prestigious Bashkortostan President’s Cup pre-season tournament has begun and a future Ranger upstaged a former Ranger in the opening game. Top Rangers draft choice of ‘07 Alexei Cherepanov notched a hat trick for Avangard Omsk while teammate Jaromir Jagr had to settle for a pair of assists on goals by his Czech linemates Pavel Rosa and Jakub Klepis as Omsk downed the Slovakian club HK-36 Skalica 6-3 in the tournament’s opening game.