SMALLVILOSTOCK, Russia (AP) _ Last Friday's meteor explosion near Russia's Ural Mountains captured the world's imagination, as if it were science fiction come to life.
Now, a young hockey player that arrived on Earth along with that meteor is eliciting the same response.
Carl Klimt, the six-year-old boy discovered in a space pod among the meteor debris, already has hockey scouts, coaches and media salivating over his on-ice skills and spectacular yellow sun-enabled super powers. In addition to a strong, accurate slapshot and blazing speed, Klimt also possesses the powers of flight, super strength, invincibility, heat vision and freezing breath.
Projections have him expected to go first overall in the NHL Entry Draft as soon as he is eligible 12 years from now. That is, if the rival Kontinental Hockey League doesn't snag him first.
"The boy will play in KHL. This is guarantee," said league president Alexander Medvedev. "Carl landed here from space and is therefore property of Russia. He is not just a hockey player. He stands for truth, justice and Russian hockey way."
But North American hockey observers have big plans for Klimt and his extraordinary abilities. He has already been compared to Wayne Gretzky, Mike Bossy, Bob Gainey, Captain Marvel, Bizarro and movie villain Nuclear Man. Reports indicate that more than one NHL team is planning to make the boy the focal point of a total franchise rebuild.
"Carl Klimt has the kind of big body presence teams love," said NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire. "He's got size, speed, can run the point on a powerplay and is an emotional team leader. He can be a real monster.
"Fortunately, he's also incapable of defeating monsters since he can't be killed, can fly to other galaxies and can lift whole buildings out of the ground with his bare hands. He's the kind of guy you love to have on your team but hate to play against."
Playing against children his own age but who don't have any super powers, Klimt is clearly on a level all his own. In just four games, he has scored 117 goals, captured six bank robbers, found two stolen nuclear missiles and flown around the Earth enough times to slightly change its rotation. He has also acted as the league zamboni, using his freezing breath to smooth the ice between periods.
"I have offered Carl Klimt a chance at greatness," said a somewhat upset Medvedev. "You will down down before him. I swear it. No matter that it takes an eternity. You will bow down before him! You, and then one day, your heirs!"
Russia's rural Chelyabinsk region was bombarded with meteor pieces last week with multiple witnesses recording unbelievable videos of flames streaking through the sky. Over 1,200 bystanders were injured, mainly due to broken glass from windows that were blown out by shockwaves.
One of the meteor pieces landed in a lake and drilled a hole eight meters deep into the ice sitting atop the water. That piece turned out to be a small spacecraft carrying Klimt as well as a mysterious alien computer system containing all of the secrets of the universe and several empty boxes of Teddy Grahams.
Off the ice, Klimt is a humble, almost shy boy, with shining blue eyes hidden behind thick black glasses. He is helpful around his neighbors and classmates and says that, if hockey doesn't work out, he could see himself going into journalism.
Klimt's parents could not be reached for comment since their home planet was obliterated.
This is no fantasy. No careless product of wild imagination. No, my friends. These reports that I have brought to you today, these... are matters of undeniable fact.