A former 22nd overall draft pick of the Washington Capitals, Ilya Samsonov is one of the players Russia has named to its preliminary World Junior Championship roster.
Russia has joined Canada in naming its preliminary roster for the looming World Junior Championship tournament in Quebec.
Goalies: Anton Krasotkin, Ilya Samsonov, Vladislav Sukhachyov.
Defensemen: Artyom Chmykhov, Grigoriy Dronov, Kamil Fazylzyanov, Vadim Kudako, Rustan Petrishchev, Yegor Rykov, Mikhail Sergachyov, Mikhail Sidorov, Artyom Volkov, Yegor Voronkov, Mikhail Yepishin, Sergey Zborovskiy.
Forwards: Denis Alexeyev, Artyom Artyomov, Kirill Betyayev, Denis Guryanov, Roman Ivashov, Kirill Kaprizov, Pavel Karnaukhov, Nikita Korostelev, Mikhail Kotlyarevskiy, Danila Kvartalnov, Nikita Li, Mikhail Maltsev, Alexandr Polunin, German Rubtsov, Yakov Trenin, Artur Tyanulin, Kirill Urakov, Mikhail Vorobyov, Danil Yurtaikin.
Samsonov was drafted 22nd overall in 2015 by the Washington Capitals and is an outstanding prospect. A teen playing against men, he has a 2.14 GAA and .934 save percentage in 18 games so far in his sophomore season for Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL.
On the blueline, you probably know Sergachyov better as Mikhail Sergachev, a ninth-overall selection of the Montreal Canadiens in this year’s entry draft. After three pointless trial-balloon games for the Canadiens, the dominating 6-3 two-way defender has seven assists in 11 games for the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires.
Up front, Rubtsov is an effective jack-of-all-trades center taken 22nd overall by Philadelphia this year. After 13 scoreless games with the KHL’s Vityaz Podolsk, he has 15 points in as many games for Russkie Vityazi Chekhov of the MHL, a Eurasian major-junior league.
Drafted 12th overall by Dallas in 2015, Guryanov combines size (6-3, 201) with speed and skillful puckhandling. In 19 games with the AHL’s Texas Stars, the lanky winger has three goals and six assists.
C/LW Trenin, taken 55th overall in 2015 by Nashville, is on a point-per-game pace after 21 games in his third campaign with the QMJHL’s Gatineau Olympiques. He exceeded a point per game in his previous two Quebec junior seasons.
For Canada’s lineup, see Kevin Leblanc’s Ramblings column from Wednesday.
The other countries in the annual tournament – defending champion Finland, USA, Sweden, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Denmark, Switzerland and Latvia – will announce their preliminary rosters soon. Teams will play 13 pre-tournament exhibition games from Dec. 12 to 23 in Quebec and Ontario. The actual tournament runs from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5.
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Nolan Patrick demonstrates why he's still expected to be drafted first in the 2017 NHL entry draft:
In spite of missing a large part of Brandon’s WHL schedule due to injury, center Nolan Patrick remains atop Craig Button’s latest NHL 2017 draft rankings. Before sports hernia surgery, Patrick registered nine points in six games. The 6-3 Winnipeg native hopes to play for Canada in the WJC.
Button’s current top five is rounded out (in descending order) by defenseman Timothy Liljegren of Rögle BK in the Swedish Hockey League, Finnish USHL winger Eeli Tolvanen, OHL centre Gabe Vilardi of the Windsor Spitfires and Swiss-born Halifax centre Nico Hischier.
Barring any subsequent trades of draft picks and/or improvement in the st