Nineteen-year-old Russian forward Ilya Safonov records his first career KHL goals, Matthew Coronato sets a new United States Hockey League (USHL) record with his 28th straight game with a point, and Detroit Red Wings prospect Donovan Sebrango signs an amateur tryout with the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Safonov Grabs First KHL Goals
It took 19-year-old forward Safonov a while to get on the board in the KHL, but the AK Bars Kazan center finally registered his first career KHL goals in his 26th game of the season. Safonov bagged two goals in 112 seconds with both coming off redirections from point shots. When you’re running dry for 25 games to start the season, sometimes you’ll take whatever you can get. In what is customary for younger players in the KHL, he averages a minimal 6:27 of ice time per game. It’s no wonder it’s taken him this long to get off the mark, especially when he’s managing to earn just over 10 shifts per game.
It’s still a nice progression for the towering 6-foot-4 center who managed only one KHL game during the 2019-20 season. He spent the majority of that year splitting time between Russia’s second division, the VHL, and the Russian junior league, the MHL. In the VHL, he amassed five goals and two assists for seven points in 41 games played with Bars Kazan. In the MHL, he played in 14 games, recording three goals and seven assists for 10 points with Irbis Kazan.
Safonov also represented the Russian squad that finished fourth at the 2021 World Junior Championship. He registered two goals in seven games played in his first World Juniors experience for the Murmansk, Russia, native. Safonov definitely doesn’t lack size coming in at 6-foot-4 and 205-pounds, but he’ll need to develop the rest of his game if he wants to get drafted in what would be his third year of eligibility.
Coronato Breaks USHL Record
Chicago Steel forward and 2021 draft-eligible prospect Coronato is on a ridiculous run. He’s currently on a 19-game point streak that started at the beginning of the season, he has goals in all but five games and is currently riding a 28-game point streak that dates back to last season. The 28-game point streak breaks a USHL record and means that he has 54 points in his last 28 games played. He’s also had 13 multi-point games this season.
Through 19 games played, he has amassed 17 goals and 23 assists for 40 points. He leads the entire USHL in scoring and is one of three Steel players who hold the top three spots in league scoring. He leads the league with 17 goals and is tied for first in assists with Steel teammate and Montreal Canadiens prospect Sean Farrell. Coronato has equaled his point totals from last season in 26 fewer games. Talk about year-to-year progression — he is shooting up many people’s draft rankings for good reason.
The New York native is committed to Harvard University for the 2021-22 season and his transition from the USHL to the NCAA will be one to watch next year. With the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and Western Hockey League yet to resume play, a lot of eyes will be on the USHL, and Coronato is sneaking his way into first-round consideration for the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.
Sebrango Signs Amateur Tryout With Griffins
Detroit Red Wings prospect Donovan Sebrango has signed an amateur tryout with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League (AHL). He would’ve been eligible and required to return to the OHL for the 2020-21 season, but there is no set return date for the OHL yet and the NHL and CHL have allowed players to play in the AHL for the meantime until a start date is determined.
Drafted 63rd overall by the Red Wings, Sebrango spent the 2019-20 season in the OHL with the Kitchener Rangers. He amassed six goals and 24 assists for 30 points in 56 games played. He also represented Canada at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, winning a silver medal and posting two assists in five games played.
Sebrango was on loan with HK Levice in Solvakia this season, playing in five games and recording one goal and two assists. Grand Rapids training camp is slated to begin on Sunday, Jan. 31 with the AHL season set to begin on Friday, Feb. 5. The AHL schedule hasn’t been released as of yet.