Four GMHL Alumni Sign with Dynamo Tver in the VHL
A pair of Rattlers, a Bull, and a Civic will join the Dynamo Tver for the 2019-2020 SeasonJuly 12th, 2019 at 10:13AM July 12th, 2019 3:15PM
Tver, Russia- Four former GMHL players will join Dynamo Tver, who play out of the KHL’s affiliate league, for the 2019-2020 Season. These four players are as follows: former Rattler forward Khassan Al-Dzhilaui, former Rattler forward Yegor Kurbatov, former Bulls defenceman Sergey Schenkov, and former Civics goalie Igor Tyalo.
Pair of Rattlers Teammates
Khassan Al-Dzhilaui joined the GMHL in 2014-2015, playing as a fifteen-year old rookie. He was known for having a heavy shot for such a young age, and his nickname on the team that year was “the Russian Rocket” or “Rocket” for short. As a fifteen-year old, Khassan saw limited ice time, however he was still able to produce, and scored 7 Goals with 12 Assists for 19 Points in his first year of junior hockey, a strong year for a fifteen-year old who didn’t see a ton of ice.
The following season, the Rattlers brought another great prospect into their system whose name was Yegor Kurbatov. Kurbatov and Khassan shared the same age and nationality, and with a year of junior hockey under his belt, Khassan used his experience to help his teammate adjust to the Canadian lifestyle. They would end up becoming a great duo, with Kurbatov posting 32 Points in his rookie season, and Khassan posting 35 Points in his second year, taking another great stride in his development.
The following season would be a break out year for the two Rattlers teammates. Khassan would take a spot on the first line and first powerplay, where he would grow into the playmaking role, dishing out a league high 83 Assists. He scored 28 Goals, which brought his point total to 111, leading his team in points, and coming third in points in the entire league. Kurbatov would enjoy an incredible year as well, playing in the top six for the team, and playing on the powerplay as well. Kurbatov was able to double his point total in his sophomore season posting a total of 65 Points and was fourth on his team in points. Between the two of them, they were involved in 176 of 254 Goals For by the Rattlers that season, which means they were both involved in 70% of the goals scored by the Rattlers that year, an incredible feat.
At the end of the year, their play had garnered a lot of attention from the higher levels of hockey. Both of them would be invited to QMJHL Main Camps. Khassan would attend the Drummondville Voltiguers Main Camp and Kurbatov would attend the Victoriaville Tigers Main Camp. Khassan would end up being the final cut made by the Voltiguers, and would end up returning to Russia to play major juniors for two seasons. Kurbatov on the other hand ended up making the Victoriaville Tigers and played half the season in the QMJHL before he was waived at the trade deadline. After no one claimed him on waivers Kurbatov would sign with the Amarillo Bulls in the NAHL for the rest of the season. The following year he would return to Russia to play major juniors in his home country.
After two years together, and then two years apart, the pair of Rattlers teammates will be reunited again after both were signed to the same VHL team, Dynamo Tver.
From a Championship as a Rookie to Professional Hockey
Sergey Schenkov joined the GMHL in 2013-2014, playing for the Bradford Bulls. Schenkov came to Canada with his best friend Sergey Bolshakov, where they were looking to play junior hockey. After seeing them practicing at a rink in Toronto, the Bulls General Manager offered them both a spot on the team, and the rest is history.
While Bolshakov was the face of the Bulls franchise that year, winning many awards including GMHL Rookie of the Year and GMHL Best Goalie, Schenkov was an important piece for the Bulls on the backend. Although he was only sixteen at the time, Schenkov was a big body who had a great skillset for his age. Schenkov would take over a top four role on the backend, and was a great defender with an offensive touch. Schenkov would score 11 Goals with 34 Assists for 45 Points for the Bradford Bulls, earning himself a GMHL All-Star appearance for Team World. The Bulls would get off to a bit of a slow start at the beginning of the season, but by the middle of the year they became red hot and ending the season with 13 wins in 15 games.
The Bulls would continued their hot streak into the playoffs, sweeping the first, second, and third round, earning a berth in the Russell Cup Finals against their rivals and defending Champions the Bradford Rattlers. Although the Bulls lost to the Rattlers every game except one in the Regular season, they would go on to win the first three games of the series, before beating the Rattlers in Game Five to win their first and only Russell Cup Championship in franchise history. During this run, Schenkov would post a stat line of 6 Goals 8 Assists for 14 Points en route to winning the Championship as a rookie.
Schenkov’s play as a rookie was impressive and he would move on to play major juniors in Russia for the next three seasons. Last season, Schenkov finally made the jump to professional hockey, playing in the VHL for Izhstal Izhevsk. Now, Schenkov has signed a deal with Dynamo Tver for his second year of professional hockey.
Another great Civics Goalie
Tyalo joined the GMHL for the New Tecumseth Civics (then the Alliston Coyotes) in 2014-2015, where he split the starting duties for the Civics. The Civics were a dark horse in the GMHL that year, and although they weren’t at the top of the standings, they were a team that no one took lightly. Tyalo stood between the pipes for 12 Regular Season Games for the New Tecumseth Civics where his overall stat line for the Civics for the 2014-2015 Season was: 2nd Overall in Wins (5), 2nd Overall in Saves (342), 1st Overall in GAA (3.93), and 2nd Overall in S% (0.891). Without Tyalo, the Civics might not have made it to the playoffs that year, where they stunned the powerhouse Tottenham Steam, taking them to 5 Games in a 5 Game series before bowing out. Tyalo’s efforts for the Civics were noted back home in Russia, and he signed a contract with Yunior-Sputnik Nizhny Tagil, a VHL-B team, the third tier professional league in Russia.
Tyalo immediately took over the starting role for Yunior-Sputnik Nizhny Tagil, and started 41 Games for the team, posting a 3.70 GAA in his first year of professional hockey. The following season Tyalo was signed to HK Cheboksary of the VHL-B where he started 11 Regular Season Games for the team, posting a 2.99 GAA and .887 S%. His efforts with HK Cheboksary earned him a call up to the VHL, the KHL’s affiliate league, where he would start 1 Game, where he earned a shutout for the team, before being sent back to HK Cheboksary for the playoffs where he posted a 3.18 GAA and .883 S% in 3 Playoff Games for the team. With two years of professional hockey under his belt, and a call up to the VHL, Tyalo moved up the ranks in 2017-2018, and signed a contract in the VHL for the Tsen Tou Jilin joining former West Nipissing Lynx defenceman Mikhail Patrikeyev. Tyalo would go on to play 26 Games for Tsen Tou Jilin, where he would post a 2.97 GAA and .909 S%, a huge improvement, showing Tyalo could play at the VHL level. Tyalo then signed a contract for the 2018-2019 Season with the VHL team that called him up in 2016-2017 Rubin Tyumen. Tyalo ended up being an impact piece for Rubin Tyumen last season, posting an incredible stat line of 1.83 GAA and .938 S%, helping Rubin Tymen reach the VHL Finals. Unfortunately, his team came up just short of winning the VHL Championship, however, other teams noticed Tyalo's great play for Rubin Tyumen, and Dynamo Tver picked Tyalo up in the Free-Agency, signing him to a one-year deal.
The VHL is the second league in Russia, and one of the top leagues in Europe. The league is affiliated with the KHL. The VHL not only advances players to the KHL, but has sent players to the AHL and NHL as well, such as Nikita Zaitsev (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Valeri Nichuskin (Dallas Stars). It is always great to see our players advance to the professional level, but it’s even better when four players advance to the same team. We wish Khassan, Yegor, Sergey, Igor, and Dynamo Tver the best of luck next season.