According to Russian connected blog Alex Ovetjkin, KHL player and highly touted New York Rangers’ prospect Alexei Cherepanov collided with former Ranger Jaromir Jagr’s elbow on a line change, as his team Omsk Avanguard took on Chekhov Vityaz. Cherepanov was knocked unconscious and shortly after, his heart had stopped. Cherepanov was taken immediately to the ICU, where doctors attempted to resuscitate. TSN is confirming that Alexei has in fact died in the hospital, he was 19.
“He was a great kid,” Cherepanov’s agent, Jay Grossman told TSN. “He had a great smile and was an outstanding player with a great future on and off the ice. It’s both shocking and devastating news for all of us. ”
Because the incident happened in the final moments of the contest, sources say the on-site ambulance may have left the arena and needed to be recalled for Alexei. Sources also stated that defibrillators are not mandatory in KHL arenas and the ones equipped are not regulated to be in working condition.
Cherepanov was the 17th overall selection in the 2007 NHL entry draft by the Rangers. One of the top young players in Europe, Cherepanov took the KHL by storm and was looked at with optimism to take his skilled game to the NHL within the next year or two.