The Russians tend to go with as many 19-year-olds as possible at the world juniors, meaning only Dmitri Samorukov (Edmonton) and Klim Kostin (St. Louis) are eligible to return from last year’s squad – assuming that Andrei Svechnikov is too busy in the NHL with Carolina.
But there’s still a good deal of talent at coach Valeri Bragin’s disposal, and this iteration can once again play a staunch defensive game. Up front, players such as Kirill Marchenko (Columbus) and Ivan Morozov (Vegas) were given big roles in international tune-ups, while Pavel Shen (Boston) captained the squad that won the annual series against the CHL teams in Canada. Shen is very hard to play against, while the size of players such as Marchenko and Kostin is imposing. Toss in Nikolai Kovalenko (Colorado) and first-round...
About the Author
Ryan Kennedy is the associate senior writer and draft/prospect expert at The Hockey News. He has been with the publication since 2005 and in that span, Don Cherry, Lil Jon and The Rock have all called his house. He lives in Toronto with his wife and kids where he listens to loud music and collects NCAA pennants.