The first international action of the season is scheduled for the start of November when Russia travels to Helsinki for the Karjala Cup. This time, Russia’s established stars will get a rest and the U20s will represent the country at the start of the Euro Hockey Tour. It’s partly due to head coach Valery Bragin’s recent illness and a chance for the juniors to play together ahead of the start of the World Championship in Canada in December. Igor Larionov will coach the team, which features a host of emerging KHL stars. From SKA goalie Yaroslav Askarov to Avangard forward Yegor Chinakhov, there’s a wealth of potential on display. Salavat Yulaev is also heavily represented, with Shakir Mukhamadullin and Rodion Amirov joined by Danil Bashkirov and Danil Alalykin. Russian Hockey Federation president Vladislav Tretiak said: “The [Karjala Cup] will be played in a so-called ‘bubble’, where players are restricted to their hotel and the arena. The same thing will happen in Edmonton so the trip to Finland will be good preparation not just on the ice but also from the point of view of getting mentally prepared.” Future stages of the Euro Tour are expected to see a more familiar Russian roster take to the ice.
Team Russia decided to use U20 players at the first stage of Euro Hockey Tour – Karjala Cup that will be held in Helsinki on November 5-8.
Goalies: Yaroslav Askarov (SKA), Artur Akhtyamov (Ak Bars), Vsevolod Skotnikov (CSKA).
Defensemen: Kirill Kirsanov, Yegor Shekhovtsov (both SKA), Artemy Knyazev (Ak Bars), Dmitry Kostenko (Lada, VHL), Shakir Mukhamadullin (Salavat Yulaev), Ivan Rogov (Severstal), Nikita Sedov (Sochi), Daniil Chayka (CSKA), Semyon Chistyakov (Avangard).
Forwards: Danil Alalykin, Rodion Amirov, Danil Bashkirov (all Salavat Yulaev), Yegor Afanasyev, Takhir Mingachyov (both CSKA), Zakhar Bardakov (Vityaz), Maxim Beryozkin (Lokomotiv), Arseny Gritsyuk, Yegor Chinakhov (both Avangard), Maxim Groshev (Neftekhimik), Vasily Podkolzin, Yegor Spiridonov, Marat Khusnutdinov (all SKA), Ilya Safonov (Ak Bars).
Askarov photo courtesy of photo.khl.ru