Team Russia has announced its 2022 world junior hockey championship roster, headlined by goaltender Yaroslav Askarov and 2023 NHL Draft-eligible Matvei Michkov.
Russia is coming off a fourth-place finish in 2021 after falling to Canada in the semifinal and losing to Finland in the bronze medal game.
Askarov, a Nashville Predators prospect, has a .904 save percentage in five starts for SKA in the KHL this season. Michkov has two goals and five points for the Saint Petersburg side.
All players selected play domestically in the Russian KHL or MHL, leaving out notables Yan Kuznetsov, Daniil Chayka, Daniil Gushchin and Matvey Petrov.
“It was a tough decision to make … we haven’t chosen any players from the North American leagues,” said Sergei Zubov, the Russian head coach, in a press release. “We came to the conclusion that the players who have been training with us here in Russia are stronger defensively. The strongest players have been picked.”
Russia’s world junior schedule begins Dec. 27 against Sweden.
Goalies: Yaroslav Askarov (SKA-Neva), Yegor Guskov (Lokomotiv), Maxim Motorygin (CSK VVS).
Defencemen: Vladimir Grudinin (CSKA), Kirill Kirsanov, Arseniy Koromyslov, Nikita Smirnov (all SKA), Shakir Mukhamadullin (Salavat Yulaev), Nikita Novikov (Dynamo Moscow), Yegor Savikov (Spartak), Kirill Steklov (Vityaz).
Forwards: Ivan Didkovsky (Dynamo Moscow), Nikita Guslistov (Severstal), Ivan Zinchenko (Vityaz), Dmitry Zlodeev, Vasily Ponomaryov (both Spartak), Semyon Demidov, Matvei Michkov, Fyodor Svechkov, Kirill Tankov, Marat Khusnutdinov, Nikita Chibrikov (all SKA), Alexander Pashin (Salavat Yulaev), Pavel Tyutnev (Lokomotiv), Danila Yurov (Metallurg Magnitogorsk).