Badger Kalynyuk a future Flyer

Philadelphia Flyers’ development coach Kjell Samuelsson had just finished observing a group of slick-skating defensemen competing in a five-on-five scrimmage at the club’s 2019 development camp. The 6-foot-6, 14-year veteran blueliner was totally cognizant of the sport’s current trends – today’s hockey features mobile defensemen.

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The World Boxing Council (WBC) has named Vitali Klitschko among the world’s best all-time heavyweight boxers, taking the eighth spot in the rankings. The news was posted to the klitschko-brothers.com website on April 8. The list is topped by Muhammad Ali, followed by Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, Larry Holmes, Evander Holyfield, George Foreman, Joe Frazier, Sonny Liston and Ken Norton. Lewis (Great Britain) and Klitschko (Ukraine) were the only non-American boxers on the list.

Ukraine holds second place in group of World Cup qualifiers

PARSIPPANY, N.J. – Ukraine tied with Kazakhstan 1-1 on March 31 in a 2022 World Cup Group D qualifier in Kyiv. Roman Yaremchuk opened the scoring for Ukraine in the 20th minute, but Serikzhan Muzhikov equalized in the 59th minute. Ukraine tied 1-1 with Finland (third place, 2 points) on March 28 in Kyiv. Junior Moraes scored for Ukraine in the 80th minute, but Teemu Pukki leveled the score for the Finns in the 89th minute with a penalty kick.

Ukrainians in minor league hockey

Our annual peek at the three minor leagues in professional hockey reveals a total of 44 players of Ukrainian descent seeing action in the coronavirus shortened 2019-2020 season. Seven of the above also skated for their NHL clubs – of these, Taylor Fedun (Dallas) and Greg Pateryn (Minne­sota) were on injury rehab assignment while Jayce Hawryluk (Florida to Ottawa) and Curtis Lazar (Buffalo) were awaiting either a waiver claim or permanent recall, respectively.

Ukrainians in major junior hockey

A grand total of 43 known youngsters of Ukrainian descent dotted rosters of the three major junior circuits in the 2019-2020 hockey season with the Western Hockey League boasting the vast majority (35).

Ukrainian pro hockey update

In the National Hockey League, the hometown team always wears white, but this was not the case on this particular spring day, when General Manager Neil Smith defied tradition, and outfitted his New York Rangers in their blue sweaters. This was supposed to be a most special game.

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SOCCER

Dynamo Kyiv and Shakhtar Donetsk advance
Dynamo Kyiv and Shakhtar Donetsk advanced to the Round of 16 of the UEFA Europa League after winning their respective matches in the Round of 32.

Akim Aliu: advocate for diversity in hockey

Attempting to reassert his voice, Aliu wrote a 4,000-word article for The Players’ Tribune on May 19, 2020, headlined “Hockey is not for everyone” – a purposeful dig at the “Hockey is for everyone” diversity campaign the NHL has run since 1998. His story included Peters’ comments, Downie’s cross-check (see part 1) and other descriptions of racial abuse in raw detail, prompting a viral response way more positive than what Aliu heard back after his original tweets. He formed direct relationships with activists like Alyssa Milano, Marshawn Lynch and other NHL players.