SJ Shark Prospect Killed in Plane Crash

Daniil Sobchenko recently skated at the Sharks' development camp in San Jose.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Rescuers work at the crash site of a Russian Yak-42 jet near the city of Yaroslavl, on the Volga River about 150 miles (240 kilometers) northeast of Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011. The Yak-42 jet carrying a top ice hockey team crashed while taking off Wednesday in western Russia. The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said the plane was carrying the Lokomotiv ice hockey team from Yaroslavl.(AP Photo/Misha Japaridze)

    Daniil Sobchenko, an up-and-coming hockey prospect, Team Russia player and recent San Jose Sharks draft pick, was killed in a plane crash on Wednesday.

    Sobchenko, 20, recently skated in the Sharks' rookie development camp in July, according to hockeysfuture.com. He was drafted in the 6th round, the 166th overall player taken.

    The San Jose Sharks said he was listed on the plane's manifest, but the recovery and rescue efforts are continuing.

    A passenger jet carrying the Lokomotiv -- a top Russian hockey team with many former NHL players -- crashed, killing at least 43 people, according to the Associated Press.

    The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said the Yak-42 plane crashed in sunny weather immediately after leaving an airport near the city of Yaroslavl, on the Volga River about 150 miles northeast of Moscow.
    The plane was carrying 45 people, including 37 passengers and eight crew, and two people survived the crash.

    Only one day before the crash, Sobchenko told reporters, "Playing in the NHL is my dream from my childhood, but you need to cross the ocean as a fully prepared player." He also said that he'd rather win the Olympics gold medal over a Stanley Cup championship.

    "[T]he Olympic tournament is played only once every four years, and all the world's top players compete there," he said.

    Sobchenko was a 6-2, 192 pound center who could play wing, but he preferred the former position because his idol, Sergei Fedorov, played there.

    Sobchenko was born in Kiev, Ukraine, and moved to Russia when he was 10 years old.

    Lokomotiv Yaroslavl is a leading force in Russian hockey and came third in the KHL last year. The team's coach is Canadian Brad McCrimmon, who took over in May. He was mosly recently an assistant coach with the Detroit Red Wings, and played 18 years in the NHL for Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit, Hartford and Phoenix.

    The Russian team also featured several top European players and former NHL stars, including Slovakian forward and national team captain Pavol Demitra, who played in the NHL for the St. Louis Blues and Vancouver Canucks.

    Other top names include forward Josef Vasicek of the Czech Republic, Czech defenseman Karel Rachunek, Russian defensemen Ruslan Salei and Karlis Skrastins, and Swedish goalie Stefan Liv.

    One resident, Irina Pryakhova, saw the plane going down.

    "It was wobbling in flight, it was clear that something was wrong," she said. "It went down behind the trees and there was a bang and a plume of smoke."

    She said rescuers pulled victims' bodies out of the Volga River. "I saw them pulling bodies to the shore, some still in their seats with seatbelts on," Pryakhova said.

    -- The Associated Press contributed to this report.