As might be noticed in international competition, the center position is often an area that Russia has some trouble filling with younger prospects, as that country instead fills with veterans like Pavel Datsyuk or Evgeny Malkin because of the apparent lack of production from younger, less established players. But recently, there have been some signs of trend inversion as there have been some centers drafted by NHL teams out of the KHL. Read more»
The fourth KHL season has started, even if the start was delayed because of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl tragedy, which claimed 44 lives, including Russian prospects center Daniil Sobchenko (SJ) and defenseman Yuri Urychev.
The KHL once again will once again consist of 24 teams, with the inclusion of Slovakian team Lev Poprad, the first team to join the top level Russian team from outside the borders of the former Soviet Union. Rumors claim teams from Milan, Italy and Zagreb, Croatia, will join the league for the 2012-13 season.
Below is a team-by-team breakdown analyzing the outlook for different prospects.
The 2011 WJC Gold Medal has been an unexpected but pleasant achievement for all of Team Russia’s fans or admirers. The Motherland capture its first triumph after an eight-year draught in which most of times the teams didn’t feature enough leadership and were many times either outplayed by Canadians, like 2005 or 2006 editions, or simply having very poor performances due to multiple factors, like in 2010.
This season Team Russia got excellent coaching from Valery Bragin, a former RSL head coach, who didn’t hesitate in leaving home some talented but younger players like Nail Yakupov and Alexander Khokhlachev, in favor of players with a bigger drive and experience. The whole team was made up of 1991-born players, with the notable exception of Evgeny Kuznetsov (WAS), who has been included in the tournament’s All-Star Team. Caps fans will be happy to know that Dmitry Orlov also got All-Star Team honors as both players were instrumental to their team’s triumph.
After last year’s highly disappointing sixth place finish, Team Russia is called to rebound back among the elite teams and in 2011 they have quite a good chance to do so. This year the Russians will bring a very talented team with a very good coach, Valery Bragin. If having a very good selection isn’t unusual for Russia, having a very good coach, to some extent, is. Last year Vladimir Plyuschev’s management left to be desired and Sergei Nemchinov also didn’t exactly satisfy with his performances.
Bragin, a former RSL head coach for Spartak Moscow, has been highly praised in Russia after the Super Series triumph and many players, especially Maxim Kitsyn (LA), have been very vocal through the press about Bragin’s impact over the series.
In any case team Russia will ice a kind of traditional team – a very strong offense with a couple of excellent players and a defense that doesn’t seem to be quite of the same level. The team will most likely not feature impressive OHL prospects Alexander Khokhlachev and Vladislav Namestnikov, deemed too young for this tournament in a similar way Ryan Nugen-Hopkins was thought as too young to make Team Canada roster. 1993 born Nail Yakupov is most likely going to be one of the spare forwards.
Photo: Los Angeles Kings prospect Maxim Kitsyn will take part in the 2010 Super Series (photo courtesy of Holly Gunning/HF)
Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced the roster for Team Russia that will compete in the 2010 SUBWAY® Super Series which begins Monday November 8 in Saint John, NB.