Rangers prospect Alexei Cherepanov dead at 19

October 13, 2008

Alexei Cherepanov was 19, the 17th overall pick in the 2007 NHL draft by the New York Rangers, and one of the most highly regarded prospects in the world, but he passed away after suffering an apparent heart attack during a hockey game outside of Moscow. Alexei was competing for the Avangard Omsk of the KHL when he went to the bench late in the game, but collapsed and could not be revived.  His true talent will never be known, but in his first year in the Russian league he had more points in his first year than Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin and Ilya Kovalchuk and his 18 goals as a rookie broke the record held by Pavel Bure.  You have to wonder if he had been playing in the US if his heart condition would have been discovered and a tragedy avoided.

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