Checking in on the Chicago Blackhawks prospects currently playing in Europe.
Antti Saarela, Lukko (Liiga)
Stats: 7 points (3 G, 4 A) in 22 games played
Two assists in the seven games since we last checked in on Saarela as he works his way back from the leg injury he suffered in October. Saarela continues to get solid minutes for Lukko — who is currently the best team in all of Liiga. He recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of scoring the fastest hat trick in league history.
Avausottelussa Antti Saarela teki historiaa paitsi iskemällä uuden areenan 1. maalin, myös tekemällä Liiga-historian nopeimman hattutempun ottelun alusta lukien. Aikaisempi Liiga-ennätys oli reilun 42 vuoden takaa. #Liiga pic.twitter.com/ujgKgm8Jfa— Liiga (@smliiga) December 3, 2022
Riku Tohila, on loan to KuePA HT
Stats: 2 A in 2 GP since promotion
Tohila is on loan to KuePA as they compete for the Suomen Cup/Finnish Cup, where it’s currently undefeated and leading their group. Tohila is one of the youngest players in the entire tournament and recently notched his first professional point.
Ilya Safonov, Ak Bars Kazan (KHL)
Stats: 20 points (11 G, 9 A) in 37 games played
Picked up four assists in his last five KHL games. He’s also currently on loan, playing for Team Russia in the Channel One Cup, where he has a goal and two assists in the first two games of the tournament.
Victor Stjernborg, Växjö Lakers HC (SHL)
Stats: 4 points (0 G, 4 A) in 26 games played
Stjernborg (hurts my brain to type it) is also currently on loan, serving as captain for Team Sweden in the WJC. The Swedes are not only one of the top contenders at the tournament, but also worth paying attention to because 2023 draft eligible super prospect Leo Carlsson is on the roster and seems like a lock to be picked somewhere in the top five next summer.
Michael Krutil, HC Sparta Praha (Czechia) / HC Banik Sokolov (Czechia 2)
Stats: 0 points in 18 games played, minus-5 overall
Rough stretch for Krutil continues through Czechia 2. It doesn’t bode well that he hasn’t seemed to make any significant adjustments to his game, even after dropping two levels.