With the World Junior Championship only a month away, teams have started to release their preliminary rosters.
Russia released theirs this morning, and one notable omissions was Habs first rounder, Nikita Scherbak.
Russia's 38-man preliminary roster for WJC unveiled. Zadorov, Buchnevich, Kamenev, Zykov, Tolchinsky among notables https://t.co/Rzkz3yvtWS— Chris Peters (@chrismpeters) November 28, 2014
There are a couple probable reasons why Scherbak was left off.
First off, he didn't have a fantastic showing at the Subway Super Series. This was one of the only opportunities for Russian coach Valeri Bragin to see Scherbak in action.
Heard from some of my Russia peeps. Apparently coach was not happy with Scherbak's play in SSS. Same thing happened to Tkachev last year.— Sunaya Sapurji (@sunayas) November 28, 2014
Secondly, he has little to no experience within the Russian national program. His reputation across the pond wasn't necessarily tarnished by his choice to play in the WHL, but it definitely wasn't bettered in the eyes of Russian management.
Even though it's clear that it's more of a political call, and not a hockey decision, it's a disappointing move by the Russian selection committee. They're surely leaving one of their more skilled players off the roster, but then again, maybe they're just following the Canadian model.