Russia will seek their fifth-straight Medal at the IIHF's 2015 World Juniors Championships. With only two players, Ivan Barbashev and Pavel Buchnevich, returning from their Bronze medal win in 2014, Russia will look to a new crop of talent to lead the way. Russia will face off against Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden, and the Czech Republic in Group B's Preliminary Round action.
|Player||Pos||Draft Year*||League||Current Team|
|Denis Kostin||G||2013||KHL||Avangard Omsk|
|Igor Shestyorkin||G||2014 (NYR, 118th)||KHL||SKA St. Petersburg|
|Ilya Sorokin||G||2014 (NYI, 78th)||KHL||Metallurg Novokuznetsk|
|Alexander Bryntsev||D||2013||KHL||Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk|
|Nikita Cherepanov||D||2014||VHL||HK Ryazan|
|Vladislav Gavrikov||D||2014||VHL||HK Ryazan|
|Ziat Paigin||D||2013||KHL||Ak Bars Kazan|
|Ivan Provorov||D||2015||WHL||Brandon Wheat Kings|
|Rushan Rafikov||D||2013 (CGY, 187th)||VHL||HK Ryazan|
|Damir Sharipzyanov||D||2014||OHL||Owen Sound Attack|
|Rinat Valiev||D||2014 (TOR, 68th)||WHL||Kootenay Ice|
|Ivan Vereshagin||D||2013||KHL||Vityaz Podolsk|
|Dmitri Yudin||D||2013||KHL||SKA St. Petersburg|
|Ivan Barbashev||F||2014 (STL, 33rd)||QMJHL||Moncton Wildcats|
|Vladimir Bryukvin||F||2013||VHL||Dynamo Balashikha|
|Pavel Buchnevich||F||2013 (NYR, 75th)||KHL||Severstal Cherepovets|
|Alexander Dergachyov||F||2015||MHL||SKA-1946 St. Petersburg|
|Ivan Fishchenko||F||2014||VHL||Sokol Krasnoyarsk|
|Nikolay Goldobin||F||2014 (SJ, 27th)||Liiga||IFK Helsinki|
|Anatoli Golyshev||F||2013||KHL||Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg|
|Vladislav Kamenev||F||2014 (NSH, 42nd)||KHL||Metallurg Magnitogorsk|
|Ilya Korenev||F||2013||KHL||Yugra Khanty-Mansisk|
|Pavel Kraskovski||F||2014||MHL||Loko Yaroslavl|
|Vyacheslav Leshenko||F||2013||KHL||Atlant Mytishi|
|Maxim Mamin||F||2013||KHL||CSKA Moscow|
|Yegor Morozov||F||2013||KHL||HK Sochi|
|Konstantin Okulov||F||2013||MHL||Sibirskie Snaipery Novosibirsk|
|Alexander Sharov||F||2014||KHL||Lada Togliatti|
|Vladimir Tkachyov||F||2014||QMJHL||Quebec Remparts|
|Sergei Tolchinski||F||2013||OHL||Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds|
*grey text for undrafted players
The roster will be reduced from 30 to 23 after the players are evaluated in pre-tournament games.
Draft Eligible Players
Any player born before September 16, 1997, is eligible for the 2015 NHL draft.
Defenseman Ivan Provorov and forward Alexander Dergachyov are the sole Russian-born players with first year draft eligibility in 2015.
Provorov has garnered considerable attention thus far, picking up a number of first round draft projections. At 17, the offensive defenseman is the youngest player Russia's World Juniors roster. In 35 games with the Brandon Wheat Kings, the WHL rookie has 10 goals and 37 points. Provorov is ranked as high as 16 by the ISS, 20 by Future Considerations, and 22 by McKeen's.
Dergachyov is unranked to date, but has a chance to change that if he cracks the Russian squad this year. The 6'4, 200-pound center certainly has the size to succeed on the smaller North American rinks in Montreal and Toronto, but is among the least experienced players currently on Russia's roster. In 24 games with SKA-1946 St. Petersburg in Russia's MHL (or Junior Hockey League), the 18-year-old has 22 points.
During exhibition play last week, Russia's goaltender Ilya Sorokin turned aside 52 shots (52!!!), allowing his team to squeek out a 2-1 overtime win over host Canada. Goaltending will have to be among Russia's strengths to earn a medal this year. It's early, but if Sorokin, a third-round draft pick by the New York Islanders, continues to dominate the crease, Russia will be in a good place to match or best their third place finish last year.
The most notable offensive players are Barbashev and Nikolay Goldobin. Russia will count on these skill players to elevate their game and lead offensively.
Game breakers among the forward group a few and far between. A first-round pick at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft by the San Jose Sharks, Goldobin may be counted on heavily. After putting up many points over the last two years with the OHL's Sarnia Sting, the 19-year-old has been on loan with IFK Helsinki in Finland this season.
With only a handful of players currently on North American rosters, Russia will need to adjust to the smaller ice surface to match Team Canada and Team USA. They will undoubtedly need to incorporate a physical dimension to their game to advance further through the Tournament.
Anonymity is on Russia's side. Opponents will be familiar with their top players, but there is plenty of time for some of the lesser known skaters to make a name for themselves. The majority of the roster will draw from KHL teams. If the group can come together and execute a sound team game, the perennial contenders could prove to be dark horse candidates for Gold.
Where will Russia finish at the 2015 World Juniors?
This poll is closed
5th or worse