I'm still looking for information on a bunch of these guys but at first glance, it looks like a roster with a few notable names and a bunch of filler. It might be one of the best teams the Russians have assembled for this 6-game exhibition but... that's really not saying all that much either, is it?
Here is the Russian squad:
Igor Bobkov '91 - Drafted in the 3rd round by Anaheim in 2009.
Ramis Sadikov '91 - undrafted, playing in the OHL with Erie Otters.
Alexander Zalivin '90 - undrafted overager.
Georgi Berdyukov '91 - Undrafted, played in 2008 WJAC in Camrose.
Evgeny Eremenko '90 - undrafted...
Maxim Gorechishnikov '91 - undrafted...
Dmitri Kostromitin '90 - undrafted, playing second year in the QMJHL (Montreal and Rouyn-Noranda), was at rookie camp for the Edmonton Oilers. He is pictured here.
Pavel Lukin '90 - undrafted, Listed as property of Yaroslavl of the KHL.
Egor Martynov '90 - undrafted...
Sergei Pakhmurin '90 - undrafted...
Nikita Pivtsakin '91 - Undrafted, plays for Avangard Omsk in the KHL, played in 2008 WJAC in Camrose.
Kirill Yurev '91 - undrafted...
Andrei Ankudinov '91 - undrafted...
Anton Burdasov '91 - undrafted, Property of Traktor Chelyabinsk of KHL.
Alexander Burmistrov '91 - eligible for 2010 draft, plays for Barrie Colts of OHL and has 25 points in 19 games. Played in Camrose at 2008 WJAC. (pictured)
Sergei Chvanov '91 - undrafted, played in Camrose for the 2008 WJAC.
Denis Golubev '91 - undrafted, playing for Ak Bars Kazan in KHL.
Daniil Gubarev '91 - undrafted...
Georgi Guryanov '90 - undrafted, playing for CSKA Moscow in KHL.
Maxim Karpov '91 - undrafted...
Maxim Kitsyn '91 - eligible for 2010 draft, plays for Metallurg Novokuznetsk in KHL. Played in both the U18 in Fargo and the WJAC in Camrose last season.
Dmitri Kugryshev '90 - Drafted by Washington in the 2nd round of 2008 draft. Playing second season in QMJHL with the Quebec Remparts and has 20 points in 21 games.
Sergei Ostapchuk '90 - undrafted, playing for Yaroslavl Lokomotiv in the KHL.
Kirill Petrov '90 - Drafted by the New York Islanders in the 3rd round in 2008. Has played this year for Ak Bars Kazan in the KHL.
Stanislav Soloviev '91 - undrafted, played in the 2009 U18 in Fargo last April. Property of Traktor Chelyabinsk in the KHL.
Ivan Telegin '92 - eligible for the 2010 NHL Draft, playing for the Saginaw Spirit in the OHL and has 24 points in 19 games.
There are obviously some quality hockey players on the list here. Bobkov (above) scored huge reviews prior to the 2008 NHL draft with his play at the U18 in Fargo, North Dakota and Sadikov is finding his way in the OHL this year.
I don't know what to expect from the back end because information on these players is so limited. It would be easy to assume that they aren't great because none have been drafted but considering the concerns in convincing Russians to come over, it's also not surprising to see no one took a chance on any of these guys. Kostromitin is definitely big and he's putting up solid numbers this year for the Huskies. I remember Berdyukov from the WJAC in Camrose but other than that... not much here I can tell you.
The forwards are interesting though for sure. 3 guys playing in the CHL, two of whom (Telegin and Burmistrov) are eligible this June and are having a really impressive start to the season. Add Maxim Kitsin (or Maxim Kitsyn) to the list and you've got 3 of Russia's notable 2010 prospects to watch. Dmitri Kugryshev and Kirill Petrov are both 2008 drafted players so they are the veteran leaders of the team.
There are definitely some surprise omissions from the team though as well which are quite disappointing in my opinion. Keeping in mind that some top prospects can't come because they are tied up with their club teams... a guy like Vladimir Tarasenko is 2010 eligible too but he's got 11 points in 19 games for Novosibirsk in the KHL so obviously they aren't letting him go for this exhibition. I am a bit surprised not to see Evgeny Kuznetsov not on the team though; he was a big part of the 2008 WJAC team from Camrose, is a highly rated player for 2010 but isn't doing much with his KHL team. Perhaps someone can fill me in if I'm missing something.
That said, there are guys in North America that I would like to see added to the roster before the games are played or as emergency injury replacements. Kirill Kabanov and Stanislav Galiev (above) in the QMJHL are two obvious choices. I wonder if their obvious rejection of the Russian Hockey Federation is being held against them here as both are key 2010 eligible players. If that is the case, I actually can understand that from the perspective of the Federation. However, won't they want both of these players for the World Junior team anyway?
Montreal Canadiens fans will wonder where Alex Avtsin's name is. The last I had heard, Avtsin (4th round pick in 2009) had left Moscow Dynamo and was going to suit up with the Montreal Juniors... but that hasn't happened yet. More political red-tape gumming things up?
The overall Canada-Russia record is in favor of the CHL 30-4-0-2, with the OHL at 12-0-0-0, the WHL record is 11-1-0-0, and QMJHL record is 7-3-0-2. Let's be honest, historically speaking this exhibition has been a bit of a joke. The Russians have been guilty of sending over a rather weak squad that gets pounded by CHL teams loaded with players already draft, about to be drafted or overagers who are going to get pro camp invites. Most games haven't even been competitive let alone interesting.
Will this year be different? I don't know but I have a feeling that it won't be as easy for the CHL as it has been most years.
It's still not how I would like to see the annual 6-game event go down. I explained my 2008 position last year (see HERE, HERE and HERE) and I'll be releasing this year's version over the next few days leading up to the start of the 2009 Subway Super Series.
If any readers have information on the Russians listed above, please feel free to put it in the comments section... I'm sure more insight on these guys would be appreciated by all.