The Russian National Team today announced that Carolina Hurricanes prospect Vasiliy Ponomarev has been invited to the team's training camp prior to the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Ponomarev totaled 49 points in 57 games with the Shawinigan Cataractes of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) in 2019-20, ranking fourth among league rookies in assists (31), fifth in points and tied for seventh in goals (18). A week after being drafted 53rd overall by the Canes in the second round of the 2020 NHL Draft, the 18-year-old forward inked his three-year, entry-level contract with the team.
2020 NHL DRAFT PICK-BY-PICK: PONOMAREV
"This is a player who knows how to play from an offensive and defensive standpoint," said Darren Yorke, who heads up the Canes' amateur scouting efforts. "As he transitions to the pro game, it's going to be an easy step because of how smart he is."
Video: "It is a dream come true."
Ponomarev, a native of Moscow, has already represented his country at a number of international tournaments, including the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, where he paced the team in scoring with eight points (4g, 4a) in six games, helping Russia capture the gold medal. Ponomarev also earned gold with Team Russia at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.
Russia's World Junior camp roster is comprised of 28 players, a group that will need to be downsized by three prior to the tournament, which will take place from Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in Edmonton. Training camp will begin Nov. 29 in Moscow before Team Russia travels to Edmonton on Dec. 13.