MOSCOW – The Russian Hockey Federation announced its roster for the 2010 IIHF World U18 Championship that begins on Tuesday in Minsk and Bobruisk, Belarus.
With the exception of Roman Berdnikov, who plays in Canada for the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack, the roster is composed of players from Russian teams.
Another player from Canada has been removed from the camp by head coach Mikhail Vasiliev due to lack of discipline: Kirill Kabanov, who is seen as one of the brightest Russian talents from 1992.
“I removed him from the team because we thought Kabanov would help us, but he brought only confusion to the team,” Vasiliev told Sovietsky Sport. “Kabanov came and thought ‘Here I am, a star from Canada, who will save all.’ But it’s the team that wins rather than an individual player.”
The forwards of the Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL) was ranked 15th in the NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Ranking of skaters playing in North America, but fell down to 31st in the final ranking that was published this week.
After Kabanov’s expulsion, Evgeni Kuznetsov is the only returnee to the team. The winger played 39 KHL games for Traktor Chelyabinsk this year, notching ten points (3+7). He will also be the only player to have represented Russia both in the World U20 and U18 Championships this year.
Russia won a medal in the last three World U18 Championships. They won the 2007 tournament in Tampere, Finland, and ended up with the silver in 2008 on home ice in Kazan and in 2009 in Fargo, United States.
Russia also won U18 gold in 2001 and 2004, the last time the tournament was held in Minsk.
After playing against club teams in Russia, the team will hold an international exhibition game in Minsk on April 10 against Switzerland before opening the tournament on April 13 against the Czech Republic.
Russian U18 national team
Goalkeepers: Sergei Kostenko (Metallurg Novokuznetsk), Andrei Vasilevsky (Salavat Yulayev Ufa).
Defencemen: Stefan Stepanov (Krylya Sovietov Moscow), Viktor Antipin (Metallurg Magnitogorsk), Nikita Nestorov (Traktor Chelyabinsk), Efim Gurkin (Salavat Yulayev Ufa), Grigori Zheldakov (Spartak Moscow), Albert Yarullin (Ak Bars Kazan), Zakhar Arzamastsev (Metallurg Novokuznetsk).
Forwards: Vladislav Namestnikov (Khimik Voskresensk), Roman Berdnikov (Owen Sound Attack, OHL), Vladislav Kartayev (Salavat Yulayev Ufa), Roman Lyubimov (CSKA Moscow), Daniil Apalkov (Metallurg Magnitogorsk), Maxim Shalunov (Traktor Chelyabinsk), Evgeni Grigorenko (Metallurg Magnitogorsk), Sergei Barbashev (CSKA Moscow), Gleb Zyryanov (Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod), Evgeni Kuznetsov (Traktor Chelyabinsk), Emil Galimov Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk), Dmitri Arkhipov (Ak Bars Kazan), Pavel Kulikov (Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk).
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)