Three teams make their debuts on the ‘04 world rankings
World Hockey Hub’s latest rankings are out following games from the month of March. A bunch of Russian teams made significant moves up the ranks, including three that were previously unranked. Strong months from Traktor Chelyabinsk, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl and Spartak Moscow made a statement to move them into the Top 25 world rankings.
Led by Ruslan Aglamzyanov with his 13 goals and 36 points, Traktor makes its debut on the rankings at No. 13 with a 20-4-0 record this season. Lokomotiv and Spartak battled over the weekend, with Spartak posting an impressive 5-0 victory. Both teams also debuted on the rankings for the first time at No. 13 and No. 15 respectively.
Certainly worth noting is the new name at the top, North Jersey Avalanche jump from No. 5 to No. 1, after going 10-2-0 in the month of March. Both defeats came at the hands of current No. 5 Pittsburgh Penguins Elite and No. 12-ranked Seacoast Performance Academy. A first-round selection in last year’s OHL Draft, 2004-standout Nicholas Moldenhauer leads the way for the Avs with 33 points in 13 games and had a six-game stint in the USHL earlier this season.
Speaking of Seacoast, they make the largest leap amongst teams that were ranked the previous month, climbing from 20th to 12th. Three of the Spartans’ six wins in March were against fellow American teams in the Top 25, including the NJ Avs, No. 7 Bishop Kearney and No. 14 New Jersey Rockets. Through 40 games, Seacoast has six players that average a point per game, led by Swedish import Kim Hilmersson with 51 points.