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Defending WJC champ Russia lists preliminary roster

by Mike G. Morreale


GOALIES -- Sergei Kostenko, Metallurg Novokuznetsk (2012 eligible); Igor Saprykin, Vityaz Chekhov (2012 eligible); Andrei Vasilevski, Tolpar Ufa (2012 eligible)

DEFENSEMEN -- Viktor Antipin, Metallurg Magnitogorsk (2012 eligible); Mikhail Naumenkov, CSKA Moscow (2012 eligible); Grigori Zheldakov, Spartak Moscow (2012 eligible); Ildar Isangulov, Salavat Yulayev Ufa (2012 eligible); Nikita Nesterov, Traktor Chelyabinsk (Tampa Bay Lightning); Alexei Marchenko, CSKA Moscow (Detroit Red Wings); Zakhar Arzamastsev, Metallurg Novokuznetsk (2012 eligible); Roman Kudinov, Vityaz Chekhov (2012 eligible); Igor Ozhiganov, CSKA Moscow (2012 eligible); Denis Barantsev, MVD Balashikha (2012 eligible)

FORWARDS -- Nikita Gusev, CSKA Moscow (2012 eligible); Nikita Kucherov, CSKA Moscow (Tampa Bay Lightning); Vladislav Kartayev, Salavat Yulayev Ufa (2012 eligible); Danil Apalkov, Metallurg Magnitogorsk (2012 eligible); Pavel Kulikov, Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk (2012 eligible); Yaroslav Kosov, Metallurg Magnitogorsk (Florida Panthers); Bogdan Potekhin, Metallurg Magnitogorsk (2012 eligible); Bulat Shavaleyev, Ak Bars Kazan (2012 eligible); Emil Galimov, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (2012 eligible); Yevgeni Kuznetsov, Traktor Chelyabinsk (Washington Capitals); Ainars Podzinsh, Dinamo Riga (2012 eligible); Ignat Zemchenko, Severstal Cherepovets (2012 eligible); Nikolai Prokhorkin, CSKA Moscow (2012 eligible); Pavel Medvedev, Spartak Moscow (2012 eligible); Sergei Barbashov, CSKA Moscow (2012 eligible)
The Russian National Junior Team has visions of winning back-to-back gold medals at the World Junior Championship.

After stunning Team Canada in last year's championship game in Buffalo, N.Y., the Russians would no doubt enjoy celebrating another gold on Canadian soil this year. The 2012 World Junior Championship is slated for Dec. 26 through Jan. 5 in Edmonton and Calgary.

On Monday, the Russian Hockey Federation announced its preliminary 28-player international roster for this year's 2012 IIHF WJC. The camp opens in Novogorsk on Dec. 7 and will continue through Dec. 18, when the team travels to Canada. At that time, the club will be joined by players yet to be named from the Canadian Hockey League -- a list that could include forwards Nail Yakupov of the Sarnia Sting in the Ontario Hockey League and Mikhail Grigorenko of the Quebec Remparts in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

The international roster includes players born in 1992, including one returnee from last year's gold-winning squad, Yevgeni Kuznetsov of Traktor Chelyabinsk. Kuznetsov was selected 26th in the 2010 NHL Draft by the Washington Capitals.

According to NHL Central Scouting's preliminary rankings, Nikolai Prokhorkin, a 6-foot-2, 183-pound left wing, and Andrei Vasilevski, a 6-3 1/4, 204-pound goalie, are the top 2012 draft eligible performers invited to camp. Prokhorkin is rated No. 1 among Russian skaters on Central Scouting's list and Vasilevski is the top-rated Russian goalie.

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