Tragically, 19-year-old New York Ranger prospect Alexei Cherepanov collapsed on the bench during today’s hockey game in Russia, and died shortly after suffering an apparent heart attack.
His head coach, Wayne Fleming said Cherepanov collapsed on the bench during the third period of the game a little while after his line change with teammate and former New York Ranger, Jaromir Jagr.
Fleming also said medical authorities tried to get Cherepanov’s heart beating again after it had stopped. Sources in Russia told TSN that the ambulance that is normally at all games had already departed and had to be called back. Also, the defibrillators at the arena were not working order, and could not be used.
“We are extremely saddened by the tragic passing of Alexei,” said New York Rangers president and general manager Glen Sather. “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.”
“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. “
He set the RSL record for goals by a rookie with 18, beating the previous mark held by Pavel Bure (17 goals), during the 2006-07 season. His total of 29 points in his rookie campaign was more than Evgeni Malkin, Alexander Ovechkin and Ilya Kovalchuk during their first initial RSL seasons.
Cherepanov helped lead Russia to a Bronze Medal at the World Junior Championships in 2008, scoring three goals and adding three assists with a plus-three rating over his six games at the tournament.
Talented & Too Young..
#17 – R.I.P You Will Forever Be In Our Hearts ♥