Photo: Moncton Wildcats forward and 2014 prospect Ivan Barbashev has a chance to increase his stock for the 2014 NHL Draft with a good performance at the 2014 World Junior Championship (courtesy of Derek Leung/Getty Images)
Each year, Russia is usually among the contenders for the U20 World Junior Championship gold medal, with this year being no different as head coach Mikhail Varnakov will have at his disposal a very good team. Last month's Subway Super Series showed that Russia would ice a very competitive team as, with 14 players busy in the KHL, Team Russia still skated on a par with the CHL all-star teams that they faced.
Photo: Omskiye Yastrebi Omsk forward and 2014 prospect Vladimir Tkachyov was one of the more offensively productive players for Russia during the recent Subway Super Series (courtesy of Derek Leung/Getty Images)
After having eight players selected during the 2013 NHL Draft, a decrease from 11 during the 2012 selections (three of them in the first round: Nail Yakupov, Mikhail Grigorenko, and Andrei Vasilevsky), Russia might see a rebound in the number of recruited players as the class of ’95- and ’96-born players is very solid and most likely better than the ’94 group.
Photo: London Knights defenseman and Buffalo Sabres prospect Nikita Zadorov returned to junior hockey in style last week, picking up three assists in Russia’s 5-2 win over the OHL in the Subway Super Series (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
Buffalo, NY is just over 230 kilometres away from London, ON — but the distance between the OHL and the NHL is far greater. But when the Buffalo Sabres decided to return 6’5 blueliner Nikita Zadorov to the junior league’s Knights, London’s dreams of a Memorial Cup win just got a whole lot closer to reality.
Photo: Owen Sound Attack defenseman and Colorado Avalanche prospect Chris Bigras had a good showing at the Avalanche training camp before returning to the OHL for the 2013-14 season (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
There was no lack of effort on the part of Team OHL in the first of their pair of games against Russia in the 2013 Subway Super Series. But Russia converted on most of their best chances, sending the OHL to a 5-2 defeat at General Motors Centre in Oshawa, ON.
Photo: Saginaw Spirit goaltender and 2014 NHL Draft prospect Nikita Serebryakov will continue to backup Jake Paterson in the 2013-14 season (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
Nikita Serebryakov represents an endangered species in North America — a European goaltender ranked amongst Central Scouting’s list of Canadian Hockey League players to watch.