Three first-round NHL draft picks highlight Russia’s 29-player preliminary roster for August’s Canada-Russia Challenge.
Nail Yakupov, taken first overall by the Edmonton Oilers last month, as well as Buffalo Sabres 12th overall pick Mikhail Grigorenko and Tampa Bay Lightning 19th overall selection Andrei Vasilevski, are on the roster.
The four-game under-20 tournament commemorating the 1972 Summit Series starts in Yaroslavl, Russia, on Aug. 8 and 9 and then visits the Metro Centre in Halifax on Aug. 13 and 14.
Yakupov, a centre, has spent the past two seasons with the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League, compiling 170 points in 107 games. Grigorenko, also a centre, played for the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts last season, producing 85 points in 59 games, while Vasilevski, a goaltender, played at Russia’s junior level with Tolpar Ufa.
All three players represented Russia at last year’s IIHF world junior championship.
Also on the roster are four other Canadian Hockey League players: defenceman Artem Sergeev and forward Anton Zlobin of the QMJHL’s Val-d’Or Foreurs; goaltender Andrei Makarov of the Western Hockey League’s Saskatoon Blades; and defenceman Andrey Pedan of the OHL’s Guelph Storm.
The remaining players on the roster spent last season in Russia.
Ticket packages for the Halifax portion of the series are on sale for $86 via hockeycanada.ca.
GOALTENDERS TEAM DRAFT Andrei Makarov Saskatoon (WHL) — Andrei Vasilevski Tolpar Ufa (MHL) TB (1, 19) Denis Perevozchikov Leopard (MHL) — DEFENCEMEN TEAM DRAFT Andrey Pedan Guelph (OHL) NYI (3, 63) Mikhail Naumenkov CSKA (MHL) — Nikita Nesterov Tractor (MHL) TB (5, 148) Artem Sergeev Val-d'Or (QMJHL) — Alexei Vasilevski Tolpar UFA (MHL) — Albert Yarullin Ak Bars (KHL) — Alex Shestopalov Mytishchi Atlanta (KHL) — Kirill Dyakov Mammoths Ugra (MHL) — Maxim Osipov Lokomotiv (MHL) — Vsevolod Sorokin MHC Spartak (MHL) — FORWARDS TEAM DRAFT Yaroslov Kosov Metallurg Mg (KHL) FLA (5, 124) Nikolai Prokhorkin CSKA (KHL) LA (4, 121) Nail Yakupov Sarnia (OHL) EDM (1,1) Mikhail Grigorenko Quebec (QMJHL) BUF (1, 12) Anton Zlobin Val-d'Or (QMJHL) PIT (6,173) Anton Slepyshev Metallurg Nk (KHL) — Maxim Shalunov Tractor CHI (4, 109) Alexander Kadeykin Mytishchi Atlanti (MHL) — Sergei Tverdokhlebov Mytishchi Atlanta (MHL) — Andrey Sigarev Diesel (VHL) — Daniil Romantsev Lokomotiv (MHL) — Kirill Kapustin Lokomotiv (MHL) — Bulat Khammatov Tolpar Ufa (MHL) — Pavel Buchnevich Almaz Cherepovets (MHL) — Sergei Shmelyov Mytishchi Atlanta (MHL) — Artem Fedorov MHC Chemist (MHL) —