2016 World Hockey Championship: Team Kazakhstan preview
Kazakhstan is looking to put an end to its one-and-done streak in the IIHF's Top Division.
Kazakhstan has had a tough time staying in the IIHF's Top Division, qualifying for the main World Championship tournament in 2010, 2012, and 2014. They failed to stick around for more than one year, forced to re-qualify in the Division I A tournament every two years.
Last year, they accomplished that by going 5-0-0 in the second-tier championship, with the key win coming versus Hungary, who finished 4-1-0 with the regulation loss. Kazakhstan scored 23 goals and allowed just six over the course of that event.
The team will be part of Group A, which will play a round robin out of the Ice Palace in Moscow. They are joined by the national teams of Norway, Denmark, Latvia, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Sweden, and host Russia.
The team will hope to put on a good enough performance to stay with the top teams for next year's tournament, and former NHLer Andrei Nazarov will help them work toward that goal from behind the bench.
|20||Vitali Kolesnik||G||KHL||Lokomotiv Jaroslavl|
|5||Andrei Korabeinikov||D||VHL||Toros Neftekamsk|
|91||Nikita Ivanov||F||VHL||Sary-Arka Karaganda|
|88||Yevgeni Rymarev||F||VHL||Torpedo Ust-Kamenogorsk|
|49||Alexander Shin||F||VHL||Torpedo Ust-Kamenogorsk|
For this year's tournament, Kazakhstan will have some additional players available, as Brandon Bochenski and one-time Montreal Canadiens Nigel Dawes and Dustin Boyd have all become Kazakhstani citizens after spending several years with the nation's Barys Astana of the Kontinental Hockey League.
Those players comprised the top three in scoring for Barys (a club made up of Kazakhstan's top players and the main supplier of talent for this tournament), and their play will be crucial for Kazakhstan's success.
- May 7: Switzerland
- May 8: Russia
- May 10: Norway
- May 11: Sweden
- May 13: Czech Republic
- May 14: Latvia
- May 16: Denmark/
Thanks to Cirno for her help finding roster information.