Team Russia had already announced much of their preliminary roster for the World Junior Championships later this month, but had avoided any players currently in North America. Today they added ten names from various North American leagues to the roster, including several already drafted by NHL organizations. According to Igor Eronko of Sport-Express, the following ten are part of the preliminary roster, which will be whittled down before the tournament starts on December 26th.
G Mikhail Berdin (WPG)
While basically all of these names are very intriguing prospects for their respective clubs, Minulin might be one to watch for the entire league. Expected to go somewhere in the middle rounds in the 2017 draft, his name wasn’t called by any NHL team. The 6’2″ risk-taking defenseman put up 50 points in 70 games last year for the Swift Current Broncos, and returned to the team this season for the third time. It’s not clear why he wasn’t drafted, as he was actually ranked 58th by the NHL’s Central Scouting among North American skaters.
Svechnikov of course will also have all eyes on him at the tournament, as he’ll go head-to-head with the other potential first-overall picks. Rasmus Dahlin—the prospective favorite at the top of draft boards—will be representing Sweden and likely logging big minutes, making a matchup between the two clubs all the more interesting.