Five eligibles for the 2013 NHL Draft were among the 32 players named to Latvia’s preliminary roster for the World Junior Championship.
Forwards Edgars Kulda, Georgs Golovkovs and Deivids Sarkanis and defenseman Janis Jaks and Roberts Mamcics will compete for spots on the 20-man entry from Latvia for the tournament, starting Boxing Day.
Kulda, who plays for the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League, has previously represented Latvia at the 2012 U18 World Championship and was selected 38th overall in the 2012 CHL Import Draft. In 28 games this season, Kulda has three goals and seven points.
Golovkovs, who played on Latvia’s U18 team alongside Kulda, is currently skating with HK Riga in the MHL. The five-foot-10, 170 pound forward currently has five goals and nine points in 28 games this season.
Golovkovs has already competed for Latvia in exhibition contests at the U20 level this year, a luxury Sarkanis has yet to have. The five-foot-nine, 154-pound winger has five goals and 10 points in 10 games for HK Juniors Riga this season.
Jaks and Mamcics, two of 10 defensemen competing for a spot on the team, will be representing Latvia internationally for the first time should either survive to the final roster. Mamcics, who stands an imposing six-foot-three and weighs 209 pounds, has three goals and six points in 12 games for Metalurgs Liepaja-2 of the MHL B Division. Jaks, noticeably smaller at five-foot-10 and 161 pounds, has been held pointless while playing alongside Golovkovs with HK Rīga.