The 2022 World Junior Championship is right around the corner, set to kick off on December 26 in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta. Canada, Sweden, Finland, and others have already named their teams, and today, Russia has joined them.
D Kirill Kirsanov (LAK)
D Arseni Koromyslov (2022 draft eligible)
D Nikita Smirnov (undrafted)
D Vladimir Grudinin (2022 draft eligible)
D Nikita Novikov (BUF)
D Yegor Savikov (undrafted)
D Kirill Steklov (undrafted)
D Shakir Mukhamadullin (NJD)
F Semyon Demidov (undrafted)
F Matvei Michkov (2023 draft eligible)
F Fyodor Svechkov (NSH)
F Ivan Didkovsky (undrafted)
F Kirill Tankov (PIT)
F Marat Khusnutdinov (MIN)
F Nikita Chibrikov (WPG)
F Nikita Guslistov (CAR)
F Ivan Zinchenko (undrafted)
F Dmitry Zlodeyev (VAN)
F Vasily Ponomaryov (CAR)
F Alexander Pashin (CAR)
F Pavel Tyutnev (undrafted)
F Danila Yurov (2022 draft eligible)
Russia is notoriously stingy when it comes to allowing draft-eligible players to make the team, usually choosing instead to bring along the more polished, committed, 19-year-old national program options. That always means they bring along quite a few undrafted names, but this year the roster is actually dotted with some unique talents.
Michkov will draw all the attention as he goes up against Canada’s Connor Bedard, the two players in the running for the first-overall pick in 2023. But Yurov and Koromyslov should also be watched as potential high picks in the upcoming draft.
Interestingly, the team does not include Ivan Miroshnichenko, who is also expected to go in the early parts of the 2022 draft. It also does not include players like Yan Kuznetsov or Daniil Chayka, top prospects playing in North America. On those cases in particular, head coach Sergei Zubov had this to say:
It was a tough decision to make. We held an individual conversation with each player who left our group, thanking all of them for their efforts. Ivan Miroshnichenko wasn’t picked? He isn’t in the best physical condition at the moment. We haven’t chosen any players from the North American leagues? We were watching Yan Kuznetsov and Daniil Chayka, but we came to the conclusion that the players who have been training with us here in Russia are stronger defensively. The strongest players have been picked.