Bulldogs brothers discovered by accident

A Bulldogs scouting trip to watch Grand Forks players turned into the Kalashnikov brothers show.

Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ head coach Paul Esdale is surrounded by the Kalashnikov brothers at a meet and greet at Boston Pizza.

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs and not the Grand Forks Border Bruins will have the services of the Kalashnikov brothers this season.

Belarusian brothers Yan and Artsiom (Artie) were second and third in team scoring last year (45 and 35 points respectively).

“It feels great,” said Artie when asked about joining the Bulldogs.

“It’s a (higher) level of hockey and we’re looking forward to next season.”

While the move from the Junior B level of the Border Bruins to the Junior A Bulldogs represents a step up, Artie said that the one year at the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) helped his brother and he adapt to the North American style of play.

“It was our first year of junior hockey last year, so playing against bigger guys, getting used to the speed and the whole structure of Canadian hockey, it helped us to mature and be better players and people,” he said.

Kalashnikov also said that their stint with the Border Bruins helped the brothers become responsible in their own (defensive) end of the rink.

“When we came into the league, we didn’t back check but by the end of the year, we were. We’d see the other guys working hard (in the defensive zone) and you’d just want to do the same thing,” he said.

While the Border Bruins will miss the brothers’ offensive and improved defensive play, Tom Frith, director of hockey operations said it was also a good thing.

Sometimes players that go to a “super power” Junior B team will only have a chance to play with the third or fourth lines but in the case of the Kalashnikovs.

Both have the opportunity to get more ice time and their play, especially in the defensive zone, improved markedly,  Frith said that the

The Bulldogs discovered the Kalashnikovs almost by accident.

Frith said that he received a call from Bulldogs head coach Paul Esdale, who asking about the brothers.

Frith asked him how Artie and Yan got on the team’s radar.

“The Spokane Braves were in town for a game last year and the Port Alberni scout, who was working the region at the time, came to Grand Forks, undercover, and was there to look at a couple of Spokane kids,” Frith said.

“He ended up focusing all his attention on the Kalashnikovs – it was by chance.”

Just Posted

North Island Tour De Rock rider Benjamin Leah leads team to Port Hardy

“You don’t have issues and problems when you look at these kids and how much they’re going through.”

Alberni’s McLean Mill Society looking for a new direction

Society held a public input meeting at historic site

VIDEO: Man extracted from vehicle eight hours after accident near Cameron Lake

People making pit stop at picnic area made crash discovery

Person extracted from vehicle accident in Cameron Lake

A person has been extracted today from a reported vehicle accident in… Continue reading

Seeing double, the trials and tribulations of twins

BIG READ: Three Vancouver Island mothers share their experiences with multiple births

Environment Canada confirms Ottawa area hit by two tornadoes Friday

At one point more than 200,000 hydro customers were blacked out

Whitecaps see playoff dreams fade after 2-1 loss to FC Dallas

Goal in 87th minute seals Vancouver’s fate

B.C. students send books to displaced students of Hornby Island school fire

Maple Ridge elementary school teacher says students learned about acts of kindness

Trump drains oxygen from Trudeau foreign policy with PM, Freeland bound for UN

A lot has changed since the Liberals came to power in Canada in 2015

B.C. man fined $15,000, barred from trading securities for fraud

Larry Keith Davis used money from an investor to pay personal bills

Emergency crews investigate small sulphuric acid spill in Kootenays

IRM states a small volume of less than one cup and three dime-sized drips were leaked from carrier

Family, friends of B.C murder victim want killer sent back to max security facility

Group wants convicted murderer Walter Ramsay sent back to a maximum security facility

Most Read