It’s been almost 10 years since the Russians have been able to repeat as gold medalists at the World Junior Championship, but something Yevgeni Kuznetsov will have eyes on.
Announcing their preliminary roster Monday, the Russians will be tasked with icing a roster that will look nothing like their club from a season ago.
Kuznetsov is the only player eligible to return off of Russia’s squad from a season ago that scored five unanswered goals in the third period of the gold medal game, stunning Canada in the process.
The team will host a camp in Novogorsk on Dec. 7 before traveling to Canada and incorporating hopefuls from the Canadian Hockey League.
Among them will be Nail Yakupov of the Sarnia Sting and Quebec Remparts standout Mikhail Grigorenko. Both are competing to be the first overall selection in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. They will be joined by left winger Nikolai Prokhorkin and goaltender Andrei Vasilevski, also eligible in 2012. Vasilevski is expected to face competition for the starting role with Saskatoon Blades netminder Andrey Makarov.
To view Russia’s preliminary roster, please click here.