Igor Korolev was also killed yesterday in the tragic plane crash that took the lives of 42 other members of the Lokomotiv KHL team and flight crew. Much attention’s been given to the death of teammate and fellow former Blue Pavol Demitra, but Korolev’s also notable.â†µ
Korolev was drafted by former GM Ron Caron in the second round of the 1992 entry draft. Jeff Gordon has this to say in remembering the forward:â†µ
Chronicling Korolevâ€™s challenging transition to North American life was one of my favorite Post-Dispatch hockey stories of all time. It doesnâ€™t seem that long ago that I was visiting Igor and his family at their rented home in South St. Louis County after a season, with fellow Russian Alexei Zhamnov in town visiting them.â†µ
As I recalled, he chose his words carefully and smiled a lot -â€“ pretty much his M.O. during his whole career.â†µ
A great find by a Game Timer is this Jeff Gordon article from 1993. It’s an amazing look back at how players from the former Soviet Union were treated, and a fantastic time capsule look at the early days of one of Russia’s brightest talents from the early 90s.