Then and Now: Dmitry Afanasenkov

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Late in December of 2006, the Philadelphia Flyers claimed forward Dmitry Afanasenkov off of waivers from the Tampa Bay Lightning. Impressed with his three goals and three assists in 33 games, Philly decided to dress the winger for 41 games in their lowly 2006-2007 campaign.

For only playing half the season for the Orange and Black, Afanasenkov’s 15 points sounds pretty impressive. However, when you consider that Randy Robitaille finished two points ahead of him with 13 less games to work with and that Scottie Upshall produced just two points less than him in 23 fewer tilts, the Russian winger’s numbers aren’t too outstanding. In addition to his eight goals and seven assists, Afanasenkov was minus-19 in his duration with the Flyers. Only six of the 44 skaters to suit up for Philly in 2006-2007 had a worse rating than Afanasenkov and only one player, Petr Nedved (minus-21 in 20 contests), played in less games than the winger.

Afanasenkov left the Flyers after his half season and joined HC Dynamo Moscow, a team that is currently in the KHL, but was in the Russian Superleague (RSL) when the winger joined the squad. The former Flyer joined a team with Mark Giordano, Danny Markov, Fedor Fedorov, and Jamie Lundmark.

Dynamo Moscow made the 2008 RSL playoffs as the nine-seed out of the 16 teams to make the postseason in the 20-team league. In the opening round, Afanasenkov and his teammates beat Avangard Omsk 3-1 before they fell to Metallurg Magnitogorsk in five games during the Quarterfinals. In the playoffs, Afanasenkov produced a goal and three assists while going minus-1, as he appeared in every game.

Afanasenkov also represented Russia in the 2008 Euro Hockey Tour. The forward had three assists in nine games, as Russia won the tournament.

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The 2008-2009 season was more of the same for Afanasenkov, as he stayed with Dynamo Moscow and represented Russia at the 2009 EHT.

In addition to Alexei Zhitnik and Denis Tolpeko, Afanasenkov was joined by Karel Rachunek on Dynamo Moscow, as the team finished seventh in the KHL with 100 points. The winger led the team in goals with 19 and points with 35, as he participated in all 56 games of the campaign.

After a three-game sweep of Dinamo Riga in the Preliminary Round and CSKA Moscow in the Quarterfinals, Dynamo Moscow lost in a six-game Semifinals to Ak Bars Kazan. Afanasenkov played in all 12 of Dynamo Moscow’s postseason games, as he had two goals and three assists as well as 16 PIMs and a plus-2 rating.

For the second straight year, Afanasenkov and his Russian teammates won the Euro Hockey Tour. The winger had a goal in three games to help Russia repeat as champions.

Afanasenkov started the 2009-2010 campaign with Dynamo Moscow, scoring a goal and providing three helpers in six contests, before he became a member of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. Along with Josef Vasicek, Afanasenkov was teammates with Radek Bonk, Konstantin Rudenko, Daniel Tjarnqvist, and Richard Zednik.

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With 12 goals and nine helpers in 44 tilts, Afanasenkov helped Lokomotiv Yaroslavl finish as the fifth-seed in the Western Conference. After they beat Atlant Mytishchi 3-1 in the Western Conference Quarterfinals and HC Spartak Moscow in six games, Dynamo Moscow was eliminated by HC MVD in a seven-game Western Conference Finals. Afanasenkov suited up for just eight of Dynamo Moscow’s 17 playoff games in 2010, as he went pointless with four PIMs and a minus-1 rating.

The winger spent the entire 2010-2011 campaign with Traktor Chelyabinsk of the KHL, a club that has suited up both Sergei Gonchar and Alexander Semin in its history. While with the club, Afanasenkov played with Flyers’ draft picks Ray Giroux and Andrei Popov as well as Deron Quint, Yevgeni Kuznetsov, and Sebastien Caron. The former Flyer and the rest of his club missed the playoffs by 11 points, as Traktor Chelyabinsk finished with 64 points and Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk finished eighth in the Eastern Conference with 75 points.

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Despite playing in just 30 contests, Afanasenkov finished seventh on the team with 16 points thanks to seven tallies and nine assists.

Last season, the left winger vacated both Dynamo Moscow and the KHL to join the National League A, or NLA, as a member of HC Fribourg-Gotteron. Afanasenkov became teammates with Cristobal Huet, Shawn Heins, and Simon Gamache.

The forward only played in 14 games for Gotteron, but he had three goals and five assists to help his club finish third in the 12-team league with 94 points in 50 games.

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Gotteron beat HC Lugano in six games before they were knocked out by SC Bern in five games during the Semifinals. Afanasenkov played in just one of Gotteron’s 11 playoff games and potted a goal as well as a minus-1 rating.

Afanasenkov became a member of a fifth different team in the last four seasons to start the 2012-2013 campaign, as he returned to the KHL and was part of Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg. Joffrey Lupul is currently on the team due to the NHL lockout.

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Afanasenkov went pointless with two PIMs and a minus-3 rating in three contests before the team cut him in the middle of October. He is currently a free agent.