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.
I don't think it's really truly going to sink in until we drop the puck, to be honest. I know there's going to be a lot of smoke and mirrors with the media attention and all that. We came [Monday] and it was sort of a light day to get things organized. We just want to focus in on the business aspect, the game itself. That's what we're preparing to do. Get these next couple of days out of the way and it's game on.
— Lightning captain Steven Stamkos on playing in his first Stanley Cup Final