| Sharks prospect Sobchenko
killed in place crash
Several former NHL players
With NHL training camps ready to open, the mood
around the league took a somber turn with the news of a plane crash near
Yaroslavl, Russia on Wednesday, killing 43 people, including 7 former NHL
players. The plane was carrying primary roster players of the KHL's Lokomotiv
club, which included Sharks prospect
who was drafted in the 6th round by the Sharks this past summer.
Former NHL players Pavol Demitra, Ruslan Salei, Karel Rachunek, Karlis
Skrastins, Josef Vasicek and Brad McCrimmon were among the dead. McCrimmon
served as a coach for Lokomotiv, having played six different NHL teams and
coaching on four others.
Sharks General Manager, Doug Wilson, issued a
statement regarding the crash.
"We are very saddened to report that
the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry has published a list stating that
Sharks prospect Daniil Sobchenko was aboard the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl plane that
crashed today in Yaroslavl, Russia. Daniil attended our development camp this
past July and everyone on our staff agreed that he had a bright future with our
organization. He was an amazing person with a fun-loving personality and his
attitude and energy during his time in San Jose was infectious. Our deepest
sympathies go out to his family and friends.
"This is a difficult day
for the hockey world. Many people in our organization had existing
relationships with other Lokomotiv players, coaches and staff members. We send
our sincere condolences to their families as well."
The off-season has
seen a flurry of deaths among former NHL players, casting one of the darkest
clouds on the sport's history. Sobchenko's limited interaction with the Sharks
was preceded by two seasons with Lokomotiv, where he played in 51 games,
scoring 6 goals and adding a pair of assists. He played on Russia's World
Junior Championship winning team earlier this year.
As a freshly drafted prospect, Sobchenko was unlikely
to see any time at the NHL level prior to his death, but the Sharks had high
hopes for the 20 year-old centerman. The native of Kiev was not attending San
Jose's training camp, which opens for prospects on Friday.
survived the crash, but suffered life threatening injuries. A spokesman for the
hospital where the two survivors were being treated said their condition was
Fans from several Eastern European cities held
candlelight vigils for those that perished in the crash.
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