Rangers Prospect Dies During Game

Rangers Prospect Dies During Game

October 14, 2008–NEW YORK–New York Rangers prospect Alexei Cherepanov died during a game in his native Russia on Monday night. He was 19.

The New York Post reported that Cherepanov suffered a heart attack* and collapsed on the bench during Avangard Omsk’s game against Vityav Chekhov.

Former Rangers captain Jaromir Jagr had just finished a shift with Cherepanov and was talking to him when the Russian suddenly collapsed.

TSN of Canada reported that medical officials attempted to get Cherepanov’s heart beating again. According to the web site, the ambulance that is normally at all games had already departed and had to be called back to the arena. The report stated that it took between “15 and 20 minutes” to transport Cherepanov from the arena to the hospital.

“They tried to get his heart started again but they couldn’t,” Omsk head coach Wayne Fleming told the web site.

New York general manager Glen Sather addressed the tragedy in a statement released by the team.

“We are extremely saddened by the tragic passing of Alexei,” Sather said. “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.”

The Rangers observed a moment of silence in his honor prior to Monday’s 4-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils.

The 17th overall selection in the 2007 draft, Cherepanov had been playing with Avangard Omsk of Russia’s Continental Hockey League. He had seven goals and five assists in 12 games for Avangard this season.

“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.”

“The NHLPA is saddened to learn of the passing of Alexei Cherepanov,” NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly said in a statement. “Alexei was a tremendous young man and a highly-skilled hockey player whose promising career had no limits. His unexpected passing at such a young age is a great loss for the entire hockey community.”

-SOURCE: Yahoo Sports

*SCA Foundation note: Reports suggest Cherepanow died from sudden cardiac arrest

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