by Corey Pronman
The Russian team’s final roster isn’t 100% finalized yet but as reported by sovsport.ru today and translated by Alessandro Seren Rosso, we have their practice lines they iced today and what will likely be their team for the tournament. If when the official announcement comes there are any changes, I will come and edit this post.
EDIT: There were indeed changes. SECOND EDIT: Minus Yakupov and Pedan.
A good number of the players are KHL’ers and guys originally thought would be NHL prospects and went undrafted like Nikita Dvurechensky and Nikita Zaytsev. For all those who have been drafted here are some brief notes on each:
Igor Bobkov, Goaltender, Anaheim, 3rd round 76th overall in 2009: Bobkov will likely be Russia’s starting netminder and the 6’5 240 giant of a goalie will look to provide better results than he’s had this year in the OHL, where he’s posted a .857 SV% in a limited number of games. He leans on his frame to be his primary asset for stopping pucks, which he needs to as he has several holes in his game from athleticism to hockey sense.
Maxim Kitsyn, Left Wing, Los Angeles, 6th round 158th overall in 2010: I discussed Kitsyn about a month ago after his impressive performance in the recent Super Series, and how the winger brings a solid to above-average skill set to the forefront. He’s shown signs of inconsistency the last few years, but when he’s on he can be a dangerous scorer.
Evgeny Kuznetsov, Center, Washington, 1st round 26th overall in 2010: Kuznetsov has been very impressive offensively, he’s one of Traktor’s top forwards in goals and points despite not even logging 12 minutes a game. Kuznetsov is an above-average skater with plus hands and shooting ability. He still is raw athletically and in regards to his hockey sense, but he has the skill set to possibly be the best Russian to come out of the 2010 Draft, although for the moment that still is likely to be Tarasenko.
Dmitri Orlov, Defense, Washington, 2nd round 55th overall in 2009: Orlov will likely be Russia’s number one defenseman and one of their major offensive weapons. He’s a talented skater who rushes the puck very well and his defensive game is decent as well. He’s already logging significant minutes as a 19 year old in the KHL, leading his team—albeit a last place team, in icetime amongst defensemen.
Vladimir Tarasenko, Right Wing, St. Louis, 1st round 16th overall in 2010: Tarasenko may be one of the more dangerous players in this tournament, a plus skater and scorer who can effectively kill penalties, Tarasenko may have very well gone top ten if not higher in the past Draft if not for the Russian Factor. His production is down this year in the KHL, but that is mostly due a 7.5 shooting percentage- a regression was expected though after shooting 15.1% last year.