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Avalanche Prospects at the 2019 World Junior Championship

Shane Bowers, Martin Kaut, Nikolai Kovalenko and Danila Zhuravlyov will represent their countries

by Dan Vatch /

Updated: Dec. 26, 2018

Three countries participating in the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship have Colorado Avalanche prospects on their initial rosters. Forwards Shane Bowers (Canada), Martin Kaut (Czech Republic) and Nikolai Kovalenko (Russia) and defenseman Danila Zhuravlyov (Russia) will all compete for their respective nations at the under-20 tournament in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia, from Dec. 26, 2018 to Jan. 5, 2019.

Shane Bowers, 19, is heading to his first World Junior Championship after making the host country's roster out of training camp. Selected in the first round (28th overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft by the Ottawa Senators, Bowers was acquired by the Avalanche on Nov. 5, 2017 in a three-team trade that also involved the Nashville Predators.

The center is in his sophomore season with the Boston University Terriers and has registered eight points (three goals, five assists). During his freshman campaign at BU in 2017-18 campaign, Bowers ranked third on the team with 32 points (17 goals, 15 assists).

Canada's Preliminary Round Schedule
Dec. 26 vs. Denmark
Dec. 27 vs. Switzerland
Dec. 29 vs. Czech Republic
Dec. 31 vs. Russia

Colorado's first-round selection (16th overall) in the 2018 NHL Draft, Martin Kaut will be heading to his second straight World Juniors after registering seven points (two goals, five assists) in seven contests last year for the Czechs.

Kaut is playing this season with the Colorado Eagles, the Avs' American Hockey League affiliate, and has notched 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in 26 games in his first campaign in North America. The Brno, Czech Republic, native has also played for his country at the 2017 IIHF U18 World Championship and the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

Czech Republic's Preliminary Round Schedule
Dec. 26 vs. Switzerland
Dec. 28 vs. Russia
Dec. 29 vs. Canada
Dec. 31 vs. Denmark

The Avs will have two recently-drafted prospects on Team Russia's roster in forward Nikolai Kovalenko and defenseman Danila Zhuravlyov.

Kovalenko, Colorado sixth-round selection (171st overall) in the 2018 NHL Draft, has played all season with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the Kontinental Hockey League. The 19-year-old has totaled four goals and an assist in 24 games in Russia's top pro league. During the 2017-18 MHL (junior league) Playoffs, the right wing had 12 points (one goal, 11 assists) in 13 games and helped Loko Yaroslavl to the championship. He last represented his country at the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. Kovalenko was added to Russia's roster after the country submitted its initial list.

Zhuravlyov was picked in the fifth round (146th overall) of the 2018 draft by the Avs and has played this season with Bars Kazan of the VHL, Russia second-highest pro league. The 18-year-old was an alternate captain for his country at the 2017 IIHF U18 World Championship where he recorded five helpers in five games. He helped Russia win a bronze medal at the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

Russia's Preliminary Round Schedule
Dec. 27 vs. Denmark
Dec. 28 vs. Czech Republic
Dec. 30 vs. Switzerland
Dec. 31 vs. Canada

The Avs could have one more prospect join the tournament as well.

Sampo Ranta participated in Finland's training camp this month but was not among the names submitted by the country to the IIHF on Dec. 25. However, the forward could be included on the tournament roster later as Finland can add an additional three players to get to the 23-man limit.

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