Forward Alexei Chereponov, the Rangers' 2007 first-round pick, died today during a game with his team in the KHL, Avangard Omsk. According to a report from Gazeta, a Russian newspaper, Chereponov collapsed at his team's bench. After efforts to revive him were administered at the arena, Cheraponov was taken to a hospital in Chekov where he was prounced dead at 10:55 p.m. local time.
Also according to the newspaper, former Penguins forward Jaromir Jagr, a teammate of Chereponov, was in tears following the game. According to several reports, Jagr had taken Cheraponov under his wing.
Chereponov was considered a steal in the 2007 draft by the Rangers. He was initially seen as a top 10 pick but fell to the Rangers at No. 17. Many teams avoided Chereponov because there were fears it would be difficult to sign him away from his Russian team.
He was seen by many as one of the best talents outside of the NHL.
(Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Update: Kukla's Korner has a video of Cherepanov receiving treatment on the bench. Jaromir Jagr is seen in the video aiding his teammate. While the video is not graphic, we have been instructed by our editors not to post it or link to it directly in Empty Netters. If you choose to view it, you can visit Kukla's Korner.