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Familiar faces dot Russia Super Series roster

by Adam Kimelman

There will be a few faces recognizable to North American hockey fans when Team Russia hits the ice as part of the Subway Super Series games.

Team Russia will play six games over an 11-day span -- two games each against all-star teams from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League and Western Hockey League.

Among the players skating for Team Russia is defenseman Nikita Zadorov of the London Knights of the OHL, rated as an A skater in NHL Central Scouting's preliminary rankings of players to watch for the 2013 NHL Draft.


Andrey Makarov^^, Saskatoon, WHL (BUF)
Igor Ustinski, Magnitogorsk 2, Russia Jr. (2013)
Andrey Vasilevskiy, Ufa 2, Russia Jr. (TBL)

Kirill Diyakov, Khanty-Mansiysk, KHL ('13)
Yaroslav Dyblenko, Mytischi 2, Russia Jr. ('13)
Pavel Koledov, Yaroslavl 2, Russia Jr. ('13)
Ilya Lyubushin, Yaroslavl 2, Russia Jr. ('13)
Andrei Mironov, Dynamo Moscow, KHL ('13)
Mikhail Naumenkov, CSKA 2, Russia Jr. ('13)
Nikita Nesterov, Chelyabinsk, KHL (TBL)
Artem Sergeev^, Val-d'Or, QMJHL (TBL)
Alexei Vasilevskiy, Ufa 2, Russia Jr. ('13)
Albert Yarullin, Kazan, KHL ('13)
Nikita Zadorov**, London, OHL ('13)

Mikhail Grigorenko*, Quebec, QMJHL (BUF)
Kirill Kapustin, Yaroslavl, VHL ('13)
Alexander Khokhlachev, Spartak, KHL (BOS)
Yaroslav Kosov, Magnitogorsk, KHL (FLA)
Yevgeni Mozer, Omsk 2, Russia Jr. ('13)
Valeri Nichushkin, Chelyabinsk 2, Russia Jr. ('13)
Nikolay Prokhorkin, Manchester, AHL (LAK)
Maxim Shalunov, Chelyabinsk, KHL (CHI)
Anton Shenfeld, Magnitogorsk, KHL ('13)
Andrei Sigarev, St. Petersburg, KHL ('13)
Vladimir Tkachev, Kazan, KHL ('13)
Bogdan Yakimov, Penza, Russia-2 ('13)
Nail Yakupov, Nizhnekamsk, KHL (EDM)
Damir Zhafyarov, Novokuznetsk 2, Russia Jr. ('13)
Daniil Zharkov, Belleville, OHL (EDM)
Anton Zlobin*, Val-d'Or, QMJHL (PIT)
Valentin Zykov*, Baie-Comeau, QMJHL ('13)

* skating in QMJHL games only
^ skating in Val-d'Or game only
** skating in Guelph game only
^^ skating in WHL games only

The 6-foot-5.25, 230-pound blueliner has three assists and a team-best plus-12 rating in 11 games.

Valentin Zykov of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar of the QMJHL also will take part in the games. He earned a C rating from Central Scouting, but is one player who will be watched closely by scouts.

"He's very noticeable in the Q," Central Scouting's Chris Bordeleau said. "He's an unbelievable talent, a solid kid. I remember seeing a game where someone went to hit him in the open ice, but he bounced off of him like a rubber ball. He can skate, shoot the puck, score the big goals … he's going to be special."

In all, eight Russian-born players skating for Team Russia already are in North America. Seven of them play in the CHL, and one -- left wing Nikolay Prokhorkin, a 2012 fourth-round pick of the Los Angeles Kings -- plays in the American Hockey League for the Manchester Monarchs.

Of the 31 players taking part for Team Russia, 19 are eligible for the 2013 draft. That includes a few players highly rated on Central Scouting's preliminary rankings.

Valeri Nichushkin, a right wing with Chelyabinsk in the Russian junior league, earned an A rating. The 6-foot-4, 196-pound forward has four goals and four assists in seven games.

Bogdan Yakimov, a center with Penza in the Russian junior league, earned a B rating. The 6-5, 202-pounder has five points in 12 games.

Two players taken in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft also will take part in the games -- Nail Yakupov, the first pick by the Edmonton Oilers, and Mikhail Grigorenko, taken No. 12 by the Buffalo Sabres.

Eight NHL teams have prospects playing for Team Russia, led by three for the Tampa Bay Lightning, and two each for Buffalo and Edmonton.

Mikhail Varnakov, who will coach Russia at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship, will coach Team Russia.

Team Russia will play against Team QMJHL on Nov. 5 (Blainville-Boisbriand) and Nov. 7 (Val-d'Or). It will play Team OHL on Nov. 8 (Guelph) and Nov. 12 (Sarnia), and Team WHL on Nov. 14 (Vancouver) and Nov. 15 (Victoria, B.C.).


Game 1:
Nov. 5 at Blainville-Boisbriand, Que.
Game 2: Nov. 7 at Val-d’Or, Que.
Game 3: Nov. 8 at Guelph, Ont.
Game 4: Nov. 12 at Sarnia, Ont.
Game 5: Nov. 14 at Vancouver, B.C.
Game 6: Nov. 15 at Victoria, B.C.

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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