Varlamov will be competing for his country for the first time at the senior level, with his previous international experience coming at the World Junior and the World Under-18 Championships. At 21 years of age, he is the youngest player named to the team.
After serving as a back-up at the 2006 World Junior Championship, he won the starting position in 2007. He finished second (to Canada’s Carey Price) in the tournament with a 1.51 goals-against average and posted two shutouts in winning his second consecutive silver medal. Russia lost to Canada, 4-2, in the gold medal game.
He competed against Canada in the 2007 Super Series (junior) that pitted the two teams in an eight-game match-up.
We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.
— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
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