Russia looking to get back on the podium at 2019 World Juniors
The Russian national team is heading into the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship with a chip on their shoulder. The Russian ‘red machine’ found themselves in unfamiliar territory last January in Buffalo, without a medal.
They finished in fifth place, ending their streak of taking home a medal at seven consecutive World Junior tournaments. The Russian’s will be looking to get their roster going next Tuesday when they open preliminary action against Sweden at Prospera Place.
According to the team’s press release, the Russians will release five players from their squad before leaving for Canada on December 15th. Once they arrive, five North-American based skaters will join the team for the final part of camp.
The lone returning player from last years team, Klim Kostin, was a first-round pick of the St. Louis Blues in 2017. Kostin is in his second season over in North America, last year he suited up for 67 AHL games with the San Antonio Rampage posting 28 points (6G, 22A) and 72 penalty minutes. This season he has 9 points (4G, 5A) points and 46 penalty minutes in 26 games with the Rampage.
The four other players joining camp are also the property of NHL clubs. Washington Capitals first-round pick, Alexander Alexeyev is currently playing with the Red Deer Rebels. Dmitry Samorukov is an Oilers third round pick currently playing with the Guelph Storm. Minnesota Wild selection Alexander Khovanov is playing with the QJMHL’s Moncton Wildcats while Sharks prospect, Ivan Chekhovich is playing with Baie-Comeau Drakkar.
Defenceman, Alexeyev is piling up the points while patrolling the Rebels blueline. He has 31 points (7G, 24A) and 17 penalty minutes in 29 games played. Chekhovich was named the Canadian Hockey Leagues Player of the Week for the second time this season on Monday, he has 54 points (29G, 25A) and 26 penalty minutes in 32 games.
Other first-round picks on the roster include the New York Rangers 2018 9th overall pick, Vitaly Kravtsov and Panthers 2018 15th selection, Grigori Denisenko.
You can watch the Russian’s get tournament ready in person, let’s sell out Prospera and show the Red Machine how loud we can get! Tickets are on sale at selectyourtickets.com, at the Prospera Place box office or by phone at 250-762-5050.