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NY Rangers Prospect Alexei Cherepanov Dies at 19

Michael TombolesiContributor IOctober 13, 2008

     New York Ranger young talent Alexei Cherepanov collapsed on the bench during Omsk's Kontinental Hockey League game on Monday.  He passed away shortly after.

     Omsk's head coach Wayne Fleming said that he collapsed during the third period of the game and that there were no signs of anything happening in the game leading to his death.

     Some sources say that there are questions about how well the defibrillators were functioning at the arena on Monday.  No new information has come about the speculated defibrillators though.

     Cherepanov was the 17th overall draft pick of the Rangers in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.  Rangers president and general manager was quoted as saying: "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."

     In 14 games played this season he has seven goals and 5 assists to equal a hefty 12 points.  In his rookie campaign, he had 29 points, more than NHL stars Evgeni Malkin, Alexander Ovechkin and Ilya Kovalchuk had in their rookie RSL season.  Also in that rookie year he broke the RSL record of 17 goals (previously held by Pavel Bure) with 18 goals.

     This is truely a horrible tragedy about a young man who had a brilliant future ahead of him.  I can't even imagine how hard this must be for his family and friends. 


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