Tampa Bay Lightning goaltending prospect Andrey Vasilevskiy and 2014 NHL Draft prospect Ivan Barbashev are among the top names in a group of 29 players invited to Russia's pre-tournament camp for the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Vasilevskiy is one of four players invited who was part of Russia's bronze-medal winning team in 2013, and this would be his third WJC. A first-round pick by the Lightning in 2012 (No. 19), Vasilevskiy had a .950 save percentage in four games for Russia last year and a .953 save percentage in five games two years ago.
The other three players invited who were on the team last year are goaltender Igor Utinski (no action), forward Anton Slepyshev (one assist in seven games) and defenseman Andrei Mironov (one goal, one assist in seven games).
Barbashev is one of just two draft-eligible players invited to camp for the Russians. He's one of the top prospects from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and has 11 goals and 34 points in 27 games for the Moncton Wildcats. The other is defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (Kontinental Hockey League), which has six players at the camp, including four on the blue line.
There are three other players currently playing for a Canadian junior team on the list along with Barbashev. One is Buffalo Sabres prospect Nikita Zadorov, who opened the season in the NHL before returning to the London Knights in the Ontario Hockey League. Zadorov was the second Russian taken (No. 16) at the 2013 draft.
Valentin Zykov was next at No. 37 to the Los Angeles Kings, and he'll be joined at the camp by undrafted Baie-Comeau teammate Denis Gorbunov. They both have 13 goals for the Drakkar this season.
There were a few notable omissions from the camp roster. Daniil Zharkov, a 2012 third-round pick by the Edmonton Oilers (No. 91) was on the team last year but not invited back. He has three goals and no assists in 31 games for Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod in the KHL.
Another is undrafted Sergey Tolchinsky, who signed a contract with the Carolina Hurricanes in August and has 16 goals and 45 points in 27 games for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL. Also missing from the list are Valeri Nichuskin and Mikhail Grigorenko, who are playing for the Dallas Stars and Buffalo Sabres, respectively.
Barbashev is the top Russian prospect for the 2014 draft. The likely No. 2 prospect, Nikolai Goldobin of the OHL's Sarnia Sting, was also not invited.