Monday, October 13, 2008

Alexei Cherepanov Dies After Heart Stoppage

New York Rangers prospect and top pick of 2007 (17th overall) Alexei Cherepanov collapsed and died on the bench of his Avangard Omsk team in the Russian KHL.

Prior to being drafted, many had Cherepanov as going in the top 5. He slipped to 17, where the Rangers couldn't believe the steal they were allowed to pull.

Cherepanov, playing alongside Jaromir Jagr in Omsk, had 8 goals and 12 assists in the season through 15 games. He was in his third season with the club. He had scored that night.

"We are extremely saddened by the tragic passing of Alexei," said Rangers General Manager Glen Sather. "On behalf of the New York Rangers organization, I would like to extend our deepest sympathies to his family. Alexei was an intelligent, energetic young man, with tremendous talent and an extremely bright future."

Cherepanov was the top-ranked European skater heading into his draft year, and backed up his credentials with 29 points in 47 games with Omsk when it played in the Russian Super League. He had more points than Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin as an RSL rookie, and his 18 goals in 2006-07 broke Pavel Bure's RSL rookie scoring record of 17.

Cherepanov represented Russia at numerous international tournaments. He was named the best forward at the 2007 World Junior Championships after he finished with a tournament-high 5 goals, and his 8 points led the Russian team in scoring and to the silver medal. He had 3 goals and 6 points in six games at the 2008 WJC as Russia won the bronze.

with files from's Adam Kimelman.


Evan said...

RIP Alexei, you were gonna be a star in the NHL, I just knew it. It's just a shame to see young talent pass away at such an early age. RIP Alexei Cherapanov.

sasabainga said...

Well put Evan, it really is a shame.

First, we had to endure the loss of Luc this.

At their respective positions, these were two of the 10, maybe 5 top prospects that I personally looked forward to watching in the big leagues someday. Especially so with Cherapanov, now that the Rangers brought in fellow Russian Nikolai Zherdev.

I am very anxious to know why the ambulance rpeortedly left the arena early. Whether it may or may not have saved his life, there has to be an ambulance there at all times. I'm outraged right now. RIP Alexei.

JH29 said...

The Cherepanov and Bourdon accidents are tragic, for their families and the NHL. The question is whether these accidents can be prevented in the future. Maybe better testing on the NHL's part for the Cherepanov situation and educating the players (youngsters) on dangerous activities such as motorcycle etc... Just seems like more should/can be done to prevent tragedies like these from occuring in the future.... and it is ridiculous how the Rangers are seeking another pick to replace Cherepanov. My thoughts.

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